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BUILDERS OF 
GREATER BRITAIN 

Edited by H. F. WILSON, M.A. 

Barrister-at'Law 

Late Fellow of Trinity ColUgt^ Camkridxt 

L*f[al Assistant at the Colonial Office 




DEDICKFEO STSPEaAL 
PERMISSIONTO HER 
MAJBTYTHEQUEtN 



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BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 



1. SIR WALTER RALEGH ; the British Dominion of 

the West. By Martin A. S. Hume. 

2. SIR THOMAS MAITLAND; the Mastery of the 

Mediterranean, By Walter Frewen Lord. 

3. JOHN AND SEBASTIAN CABOT; the Discovery of 

North America. By C. Raymond Beazley, M. A. 

4. EDWARD GIBBON WAKEFIELD ; the Coloni- 

zation of South Australia and New Zealand. By 
R. Garnett, C.B., LL.D. 

5. LORD CLIVE; the Foundation of British Rule in 

India. By Sir A. J. Arbuthnot, K. C.S.I. , C. I. E. 

6. ADMIRAL PHILLIP; the Founding of New South 

Wales. By Louis Becke and Walter Jeffery. 

7. RAJAH BROOKE ; the Englishman as Ruler of an 

Eastern State. By Sir Spenser St John , G. C. M. G. 

8. SIR STAMFORD RAFFLES; England in the Far 

East. By the Editor. 



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Builders 

of 

Greater Britain 



RAJAH BROOKE 



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97 8-''.^ y, n 
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RAJAH BROOKE 



THE ENGLISHMAN AS RULER OF AN 
EASTERN STATE. 



BY 



Sir SPENSER ^T JOHN./Q't^-JfiJGl 

AUTHOR OF :,.i -' - •;- - 

* HAYTI ; OR, ,THE BLACK REPUBLIC,' j 

* LIFE IN THE FORESTS OF THE FAR EAST,* ' 
ETC. 




I 

NEW YORK 

LONGMANS, GREEN & CO. 

91 AND 93 FIFxk AVENUE 

1899 , 



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THE NEW YORK 
PUBLIC LIBRARY 

ASTOR, LENOX AND 

TILDEN FOUNDATIONS 

R 1915 L 



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PREFACE 

I HAVE undertaken to write the life of the old 
Rajah, Sir James Brooke, my first and only 
chief, as one of the Builders of Greater Britain. 
In his case the expression must be used in its 
widest sense, as, in fact, he added but an in- 
appreciable fragment to the Empire, whilst at 
the same time he was the cause of large 
territories being included within our sphere of 
influence. And if his advice had been followed, 
we should not now be troubled with the restless 
ambition of France in the Hindu - Chinese 
regions, as his policy was to secure, by well 
defined treaties, the independence of those 
Asiatic States, subject, however, to the beneficent 
influence of England as the Paramount Power, 
an influence to be used for the good of the 
governed. Sir James thoroughly understood 
that Eastern princes and chiefs are at first only 



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xii PREFACE 

influenced by fear ; the fear of the consequences 
which might follow the neglect of the counsels 
of the protecting State. 

The plan which the Rajah endeavoured to 
persuade the English Government to adopt 
was to make treaties with all the independent 
princes of the Eastern Archipelago, including 
those States whose shores are washed by the 
China Sea, as Siam, Cambodia and Annam, by 
which they could cede no territory to any 
foreign power without the previous consent of 
England, and to establish at the capitals of the 
larger States well-chosen diplomatic agents, to 
encourage the native rulers not only to improve 
the internal condition of their countries, but to 
inculcate justice in their treatment of foreigners, 
and thus avoid complications with other powers. 

Sir James Brooke first attempted to carry out 
this enlightened policy by concluding treaties 
with the Sultans of Borneo and Sulu, to secure 
these States from extinction ; the latter treaty 
was not ratified, however, owing to the timidity 
of a naval ofiicer, foolishly influenced by a 
clever Spanish Consul in Singapore, who took 
advantage of the absence of the Rajah. In 
the forties and fifties the expansion of Great 



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PREFACE xiii 

Britain, as is well known, was looked upon 
with genuine alarm by many of our leading 
statesmen. 

Sir James Brooke, however, was not destined 
to see the fufilment of his ideas, as a ministry 
came into power in 1853 which cared nothing 
for the Further East, and in the hope of con- 
solidating their majority in Parliament sacrificed 
their noble officer to appease the clamour raised 
by Joseph Hume and his followers, who, like 
other zealots, pursued their objects regardless 
of all the evidence which could be brought 
to refute their unfounded accusations. Joseph 
Hume may be called a libeller by profession, 
who began his career by making his fortune in 
the East India G)mpany's service in a very few 
years — a remarkable achievement ; and who 
afterwards, when in Parliament, brought himself 
into notoriety by attacking first Sir Thomas 
Maitland, secondly Lord Torrington, and 
ultimately Sir James Brooke, whose shoe 
latchets he was unworthy to imloose. 

Sir James had thus but a short career as an 
English official. He was named Confidential 
Agent in 1845, Commissioner and Consul- 
General in 1846, Governor of Labuan in 



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xiv PREFACE 

1847, and his return to England in 1851 
practically closed his active political connection 
with England, though he did not resign all his 
offices until 1854. 

But the Rajah did not thus conclude his own 
career ; he returned to Sarawak and devoted all 
his energies to the development of his adopted 
country, and of the neighbouring districts. I 
shall have to relate what extraordinary vicissi- 
tudes of fortune he had to encounter, and 
how after many years of conflict he emerged 
triumphant, to leave to his successor. Sir Charles 
Brooke, a small kingdom, well organised as far 
as Sarawak was concerned, with strongly estab- 
lished positions reaching to Bintulu, which have 
but increased in influence and in power to 
further the well-being of the natives of every 
race and class ; and to prove to all who care to 
interest themselves in the subject, what a gain 
to humanity has resulted from the old Rajah 
having had the courage and the forethought 
to found his rule in a wild country, whose 
inhabitants, with few exceptions, were till then 
inimical to Europeans, and mostly tainted by 
piracy. But he argued truly that these people 
knew very imperfectly what Englishmen were, 



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PREFACE XV 

and he determined to show them that some, at 
all events, were worthy of their confidence, and 
could devote themselves without reserve to their 
welfare. 

The peculiarity of the Rajah's system was to 
treat the natives, as far as possible, as equals ; 
not only equals before the law, but in society. 
All his followers endeavoured to imitate their 
chief, and succeeded in a greater or less degree, 
thus producing a state of good feeling in the 
country which was probably found nowhere else 
in the East, except in Perak, one of the Protected 
States in the Malay Peninsula, into which one 
of his most able assistants introduced his method 
of government. I am told that this good feel- 
ing, if not the old friendly intimacy between 
native and European, still exists to a consider-^ 
able degree throughout the possessions of the 
present Rajah, which is highly honourable to 
him and to his officers. 

I have not attempted to re-write my account 
of the Chinese Insurrection (see Chapter VI.). 
I wrote it when all the events were fresh 
in my mind, and no subsequent information 
has rendered it necessary to make any changes. 
It was a most interesting and important inci- 



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xvi PREFACE 

dent in the Rajah's career, and it fixed for 
ever in the minds of his countrymen how 
wise and beneficent must have been his rule 
of the Malays and Dyaks, that they should 
have stood by him as they did when 
he appeared before them as a defeated 
fugitive. 

How far-seeing were the Rajah's views and 
plans is proved by the fact that his successor 
has found it unnecessary to change any phase 
of his policy, whether political or commercial, 
whether financial, agricultural or judicial ; with 
the growth of the country in population and 
wealth all has been of course considerably aug- 
mented, but the lines on which this great 
advance has been made were laid by the first 
Rajah, and that this honour is due to him 
no one should deny. 

As there was but one Nelson, so there has 
been but one Sir James Brooke. How admirable 
was the simplicity of his character ! So kind 
and gentle was he in manner, that the poorest, 
most down-trodden native would approach him 
without fear, confident that his story would be 
heard with benevolent attention, and that any 
wrong would, if possible, be righted. And as 

I 



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PREFACE xvii 

for the purity of his private life, he was a 
bright example to all those around him. 

It may be thought that I have exaggerated 
the grandeur of the Rajah's personality, and the 
great benefits he conferred on the natives, and 
that I have been influenced in my views by 
the warm friendship which existed between 
us. If there be any who hold this opinion, I 
would refer them to Mr Alfred Wallace's 
work. The Malay Archipelago^ in which, after 
dwelling in a most appreciative manner on 
the Rajah's rule in Sarawak, he adds these 
eloquent words, * Since these lines were 
written his noble spirit has passed away. But 
though by those who knew him not he may 
be sneered at as an enthusiastic adventurer, or 
abused as a hard-hearted despot, the imiversal 
testimony of everyone who came in contact 
with him in his adopted country, whether 
European, Malay or Dyak, will be that Rajah 
Brooke was a great, a wise and a good ruler, 
a true and faithful friend, a man to be admired 
for his talents, respected for his honesty and 
courage, and loved for his genuine hospitality, 
his kindness of disposition and his tenderness 
of heart.* 



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xviii PREFACE 

The portrait of Rajah Brooke facing the 
title page is taken from the picture by Sir 
Francis Grant, which is one of his best 
works. It is a most speaking likeness, and 
I have left it in my will to the Trustees of 
the National Portrait Gallery, if they will 
accept it. 

SPENSER ST JOHN. 

4 Chister Street, S.W. 



Note. — I would wish to add a few words to explain 
why, in the course of this Life of Rajah Brooke, I 
have not dwelt on the controversy which raged for 
some years about the character of the Seribas and 
Sakarang Dyaks. The only person who, to a late 
period, held to his view that these tribes were not 
piratical was Mr Gladstone; but after reading my 
first Life of Rajah Brooke^ in which I defended the 
policy of my old chief with all the vigour I could 
command, I received the following note from him, 
which rendered unnecessary any further discussion 
of the subject : — 

February 25, 1880. 

My dear Sir, — I thank you very much for sending 
me your Life of Sir James Brooke^ which I shall be 
anxious to examine with care. I have myself written 
words about Sir James Brooke which may serve to show 



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PREFACE xix 

chat the difference between us is not so wide as might 
be supposed, and I fully admit that what I have questioned 
in his acts has been accepted by his legitimate superiors, 
the Government and the Parliament. — I remain, yours 
faithfully, W. E. Gladstone. 

His Excillincy Spxnsxr St John. 



It is as well that I should publish another letter, 
to show that Mr Gladstone bore me no ill-will on 
account of the vigorous way I had attacked him 
whilst defending the policy of my old chief. I had 
applied to Lord Granville to be sent out as Special 
Envoy to renew relations with the Republic of Mexico, 
and the following is his Lordship's reply : — 

Foreign Orrics, MiPf 28, 1883. 
My dear Sir Spenser, — Many thanks for your note. 
I have availed myself of your offer, mentioning it to 
Gladstone, who highly approved (notv\athstanding the hard 
blows you once dealt him), and I have submitted your name 
to the Queen, who, I feel sure, vdll sanction the step. — 
Yours sincerely, Granville. 



It is pleasant to place on record this generosity of 

feeling ' ^f our greatest statesmen, whose career 

ha now been closed. 



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CONTENTS 



PAGE 

Prxface, ....... xi 

CHAPTER I 

Brooke's Ancestors and Family — His Early Life — Ap- 
pointed Ensign in the Madras Native Infantry — 
Campaign in Burmah — ^Is wounded and leaves the 
SxRvicx — Makes Two Voyages to China — Death or 
His Father — Cruise in the Yacht 'Royalist,* . i 

CHAPTER II 

Expedition to Borneo — ^First Visit to Sarawak — ^Voyage 
to Celebes — Second Visit to Sarawak — ^Joins Muda 
Hassim*s Army — Brooke's Account of the Progress of 
the Civil War — It is ended under the Influence of 
His active Interference — He Saves the Lives of the 
Rebel Chieps, . . . . . .11 

CHAPTER III 

Third Visit to Sarawak — Makota intrigues against 
Brooke — Visit of the Steamer 'Diana' — He is 

granted the government of sarawak his palace 

Captain Keppel of H.M.S. *Dido' visits Sarawak — 
Expedition against the Seribas Pirates — ^Visit of Sir 
Edward Belcher — Rajah Brooke's Increased Influence 
— Visit to the Straits Settlements — Is wounded in 
Sumatra — The *Dido' returns to Sarawak — Further 
Operations — Negotiations with British Government 
— Captain Bethune and Mr Wise arrive in Sarawak, 43 



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xxii CONTENTS 

CHAPTER IV 

PAGB 

Sir . Thomas Cochrank in Brunxi — Attack on Shsrip 

OSMAN MVDA HaSSXM IN PoWZl LiNGXRX's AtTKMPT 

TO TAKK Rajah Brooks's Hkai>^Massacrx op Mvda 
Hassim and Budrudin — ^Thx Admiral procxxds to 
Brunei — Treaty with Brunei — ^Action with Pirate 
Squadron — Rajah Brooks in England— Is Knighted on 
His Return to the East — ^Visits the Sulu Islands — 
Expedition against Seribas Pirates, . .71 

CHAPTER V 

Attacks on the Rajah's Policy — ^Visits to Labuan, Singa- 
pore AND Penang — Mission to Siam — ^The Rajah*s Return 
TO England— Dinner to Him in London — His Remark- 
able Speech — Lord Aberdeen's Government appoints a 
Hostile Commission — The Rajah's Return to Sarawak 
— Commission at Singapore — Its Findings, . .103 

CHAPTER VI 

The Chinese surprise the Town op Kuching — ^Ths Rajah 
AND His Oppicers escape — The Chinese proclaim Them- 
selves Supreme Rulers — They are attacked by the 
Malays — ^Arrival op the * Sir James Brooke' — The 
Chinese, driven prom Kuching, abandon the Interior 

AND RETREAT TO SaMBAS DISARMED BY THE DuTCH, . I4I 

CHAPTER VII 

Events in the Sago Rivers — ^The Rajah proceeds to England 
— Cordial Reception — First Paralytic Stroke — ^Buys 
Burrator — Troubles in Sarawak — Loyalty op the 
Population — ^The Rajah returns to Borneo— Settles 
MuKA AppAiRS with Sultan — Installs Captain Brooke 
as Heir Apparent — Again leaves for England — 



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CONTENTS xxiii 

PAGE 

Sarawak recognised by England — ^Life at Burrator — 
Second and Third Attacks or Paralysis — His Death 
and Will, . . . . . 177 

CHAPTER VIII 

Present Condition op Sarawak — Rajah an Irresponsible 
Ruler — Sarawak Council — General Council — Resi- 
dents AND Tribunals — Employment op Natives — 
Agriculture — Trade Returns — ^The Gold Reeps — Coal 
Deposits — ^Varied Population — ^Impolitic Seizure op 
LiMBANG — Missions — ^Extraordinary Panics — Revenue 
— Administration op Justice — Civil Service — Alli- 
gators — Satispactory State op Sarawak, . ,203 

CHAPTER IX 

Present Condition op North Borneo — Lovely Country — 
Good Harbours on West Coast — ^Formation op North 
Borneo Company — Principal Settlements — Tele- 
graphic Lines — The Railway prom Padas — Population 
— Tobacco Cultivation — Gold — The Public Service — 
The Police op North Borneo — Methods op Raising 
Revenue — Receipts and Expenditure — Trade Returns 
— Exports — Interperbnce with Traders — A Great 
Future por North Borneo, . .232 

APPENDIX 

Mr Brooke's Memorandum on His proposed Expedition to 
Borneo, Written in 1838, Reprinted prom Vol. I. op 
'The Private Letters op Sir James Brooke, K.C.B., 
Rajah op Sarawak.* Edited by J. C. Templer, Barrister- 
at-Law (Bentley, 1853), . . . . 259 

Index, ........ 291 



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; t 

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 

Portrait op Sir James Brooke, after the Picture 
BY Sir Francis Grant, P.R.A., in the possession 
OP THE Author, ..... Frontispiece 

Map op Sarawak and its Dependencies at the close 

op Sir James Brooke's Government, . . To face page ^^ 

Map op Borneo and part op the Eastern Archi- 
pelago, shewing British Territories, British 
Protectorates and Federated Malay States, . To face page 96 



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Rajah Brooke g 

CHAPTER I -^ %-^ z> 

Brooke's ancestors and family — his early life 
— appointed ensign in the madras native 

infantry campaign in burmah is wounded 

and leaves the service makes two voyages 

to china — death of his father — cruise in 
the yacht ' royalist ' 

James Brooke was the second son of Mr Thomas 
Brooke of the Honourable East India Company's 
Bengal Civil Service, and of Anna Maria Stuart, 
his wife. Their family consisted of two sons and 
four daughters. One of the latter, Emma, married 
the Rev. F. C. Johnson, Vicar of White Lacking- 
ton ; another, Margaret, married the Rev. Anthony 
Savage ; the eldest son, Henry, died unmarried after 
a short career in the Indian army. 

Mr Thomas Brooke was the seventh in descent 
from Sir Thomas Vyner, who, as Lord Mayor of 
London, entertained Oliver Cromwell in the Guild- 
hall in 1654 ; whilst his only son. Sir Robert Vyner, 



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2 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

who had taken the opposite side in those civil con- 
tests, received Charles 11. in the city six years 
later. On the death of Sir Robert's only son 
George the baronetcy became extinct, and the 
family estate of Eastbury, in Essex, reverted to 
the two daughters of Sir Thomas Vyner, from one 
of whom, Edith, the Brooke family is derived, as 
one of her descendants married a Captain Brooke, 
who was Rajah Brooke's great-grandfather.^ 

Mr Thomas Brooke, though not distinguished 
by remarkable talent, was a straightforward, honest 
civilian, and his wife was a most lovable woman, 
who gained the affections of all those with whom 
she was brought into contact. She always enjoyed 
the most perfect confidence of her distinguished 
son. To her are addressed some of his finest 
letters, in which he pours forth his generous ideas 
for the promotion of the welfare of the people 
whom he had been called upon to govern. 

James Brooke was born on the 29th of April 
1803 ^^ Secrore, the European suburb of Benares, 
and he remained in India until he was twelve 
years old, when he was sent to England to the 
care of Mrs Brooke, his paternal grandmother, who 
had established herself in Reigate. He shortly after- 
wards went to Norwich Grammar School, at that 
time under Dr Valpy, but he remained there only 

* These details are taken from Miss Jacob's Life of the Rajah of 
Sarawak, Vol. I., page i. 



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RAJAH BROOKE 3 

a couple of years, as, after the freedom of his life 
in India, discipline was irksome to him, and he ran 
away home to his grandmother. I never heard him 
say much about the master, but he loved and was 
beloved by many of his schoolfellows, and showed 
even then, by his influence over the boys, that he 
was a born leader of men. 

About this time his parents returned from India 
and settled at Combe Grove, near Bath, where 
they collected their children around them, A 
private tutor was engaged to educate young Brooke, 
but it could have been only for a comparatively 
short time, as in 18 19 he received his ensign's 
commission in the 6th Madras Native Infantry, and 
soon started for India. He was promoted to his 
lieutenancy in 1821, and in the following year 
was made a Sub-Assistant Commissary-General, a 
post for which, as he used to say, he was emin- 
ently unfitted. 

When the war with Burmah broke out in 1824 
Brooke found himself thoroughly in his element. 
As the English army advanced into Assam the 
general in command found himself much hampered 
in his movements by the want of cavalry. Brooke 
partly relieved him of this difficulty ; his oflFer to 
raise a body of horsemen was accepted. By the 
orders of the general he called for recruits, who could 
ride, from the different regiments, and soon had 
under him an efficient body of men, who under- 



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4 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

took scouting duties. He found it difEcult to keep 
them in hand, for the moment they saw an enemy 
they would charge, and then scatter in every 
direction where they thought a Burmese might be 
concealed. 

During an action in January 1825 he performed 
very efficient service with his irregular cavalry, 
charging wherever any body of Burmese collected. 
He received the thanks of the general, and his 
conduct was mentioned in despatches as 'most 
conspicuous.' Two days later occurred an instance 
of what is almost unknown in our army. A com- 
pany of native troops had been ordered to attack a 
stockade manned' by Burmese ; the English officer 
in command advanced until, on turning a clump of 
trees, he came well under fire.; then, losing his 
nerve, he bolted into the jungle. Brooke arrived 
at that moment, saw the infantry wavering, threw 
himself from his horse, assumed the command, and 
thus encouraged they charged the stockade, but 
Brooke literally ' foremost, fighting fell.' Seeing their 
leader fall, the men were again about to retreat, 
when Colonel Richards, advancing with reinforce- 
ments, restored the fight, and in a few minutes 
the place was taken, though with heavy loss. No 
attempts were ever made to turn these strong 
stockades, and thus the army suffered severely and 
to no purpose. 

I have often heard Sir James Brooke tell the 



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RAJAH BROOKE 5 

story. He had been sent out to reconnoitre ; 
found the enemy strongly posted, and suspecting 
an ambuscade, galloped back to warn his superior 
officer, but too late, as firing had already com- 
menced, and the infantry, without a leader, were 
confused. He placed himself at their head, but as 
he charged he felt a thud, and fell, losing all con- 
sciousness. After the action was over, his colonel, 
ivho had seen him fall, inquired about young 
Brooke, and was told that he was dead ; but 
examining the fallen ofEcer himself, found him 
still alive and had him removed to hospital. A 
slug had lodged in his lungs, and for months he 
lay between life and death. It was not, in fact, 
until August that he was strong enough to be 
removed, and then only in a canoe. He was 
paddled down a branch of the Bramapootra, rarely 
suffering from pain, but gazing pensively at the 
fast-running stream and the fine jungle that lined 
its banks ; in after life it seemed to him as a dream. 
On the Medical Board at Calcutta reporting that 
a change of climate was necessary, he was given a 
long furlough. He returned to England and joined 
his family at Bath. The voyage did him some good, 
but the wound continued very troublesome, and 
at times it appeared as if he could not recover. 
After the slug had been extracted, however, he 
gradually got better, so that in July 1829 he was 
enabled to embark on board the Company's ship 



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6 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

Carn Brae; but fate was against his again joining 
the Indian army. This vessel was wrecked, and 
when, in the following March, he sailed for the 
East on board the Huntley Castle^ she was so 
delayed by bad weather, that when she called in 
at Madras Brooke found that he could not join 
his regiment before the legal expiration of his 
leave. He consequently resigned the service and 
proceeded in the Huntley Castle to China. 

Brooke never cared much for the East India 
Company's service, and as he had formed friendships 
on board the Huntley Castle he preferred continuing in 
her to remaining idle in India awaiting the Directors* 
decision, which, even if favourable, could scarely arrive 
before twelve months had expired. The decision was 
favourable ; but as young Brooke had in the meantime 
left Madras the matter dropped. The Indiaman first 
touched at the Island of Penang, one of the Straits 
Settlements, and here Brooke had an opportunity of 
seeing what lovely islands there were in the Further 
East. It is not necessary to dwell on this voyage, as 
nothing of importance occurred during it ; but his stay 
in China made a deep impression on Brooke's mind. 
He saw how the Chinese ill-treated and bullied our 
countrymen, and how the East India Company sub- 
mitted to every insult in order not to imperil their trade. 

After the usual stay in the Canton River, the 
Huntley Castle returned to England, and Brooke 
found himself at home with no employment whatever. 



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RAJAH BROOKE 7 

He formed many projects ; the favourite one, which 
he had discussed with the officers of the Huntley Castle^ 
was to purchase a ship, load her with suitable goods, 
and sail for China or the adjacent markets. But as 
none of the friends had any capital, Brooke confided 
their views to his father, and naturally met with the 
objection that his sop was not a trader and never 
could become one. However, in the end, the young 
fellow prevailed. The brig Findlay was bought, laden 
with goods, and with his partner, Kennedy, formerly of 
the Huntley Castle^ and his friend, Harry Wright, also of 
the same vessel, he set sail for the Further East. This 
voyage was not destined to be a success. Brooke 
wished to introduce on board the easy discipline of a 
yacht, whilst Kennedy, who was captain, went to 
the other extreme and would insist upon the severe 
discipline of the navy, without its safeguards. Differ- 
ences soon arose, and as they found trade by interlopers 
was not encouraged, Brooke went to see Mr Jardine, of 
the firm of Messrs Jardine, Matheson & Company, and 
laid the case before him. The shrewd man of business 
could not but smile at the idea of this elegint young 
soldier managing a trading speculation. He, however, 
agreed to buy vessel and cargo, and told the partners 
they had better leave the matter in his hands. No 
objection was raised, and Mr Jardine so judiciously 
invested in silks the amount he had arranged to pay, 
that in the end comparatively little loss accrued, none 
of which was allowed by Brooke to fall on Kennedy. 



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8 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

On his return to England Brooke wearied of 
continued leisure, and although he yachted about the 
Southern Coast and the Channel Islands, he longed 
for some sphere of action which could bring his great 
abilities into play. The death of his father, in 
December 1835, gave him complete independence. 
The fortune left was sufficient to provide for his 
wife, and to give to each of his children ^30,000. 
Brooke now decided to carry out the plan he had 
formed since his first voyage to China, which was to 
buy a small vessel and start on a voyage of discovery. 
But this time there were to be no partners and no 
trade ; he intended to be complete master in his own 
ship. He ultimately fixed his choice on the Royalist^ 
a schooner yacht of about 142 tons burden. He was 
delighted with his purchase, and soon tried her 
qualifications by starting in the autumn of 1836 for 
a cruise in the Mediterranean. There he visited 
most of the principal cities, including Constantinople, 
which in after years afforded him a constant subject of 
conversation with the Malays, who interested them- 
selves in every detail of his visit. ' Roum ' to them is 
still the great city where dwells the head of the 
Mohammedan religion.^ Among those who accom- 
panied him on this cruise was his nephew, John Brooke 



' When I first went to live in Brunei, the Sultan of Borneo's capital, 
there was living there an old haji who was visiting Egypt at the time 
of Buonaparte's invasion, and who remembered well the Battle of the 
Nile and the subsequent expulsion of the French by the English. 



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RAJAH BROOKE 9 

Johnson, afterwards known as Captain Brooke, and also 
John Templer, who was then and for many years after- 
wards one of his warm friends and enthusiastic admirers. 

Though determined to make a voyage of discovery 
in the Eastern Archipelago, Brooke was not able to 
leave England till December 1838. He employed all 
his spare time in studying the subject, finding out 
what was already known, and drawing attention to 
his plans by a memoir he wrote on Borneo and 
the neighbouring islands, summaries of which were 
published in the Athenaum and in the yournal of the 
Geographical Society. He felt a great admiration for 
Sir Stamford Raffles, and ardently desired to carry out his 
views in dealing with the peoples of the Further East. 

How well Brooke sums up the feelings which 
prompted him to undertake what was in every respect 
a perilous enterprise ! * Could I carry my vessel to 
places where the keel of European ship never before 
ploughed the waters ; could I plant my foot where 
white man's foot had never before been ; could I gaze 
upon scenes which educated eyes had never looked on, 
see man in the rudest state of nature, I should be 
content without looking to further rewards.' 

It is difficult, even under the most favourable 
circumstances, to convey to the mind of a reader an 
exact portrait of the man whose deeds you desire to 
chronicle ; but as I lived for nearly twenty years with 
James Brooke, I feel I know him well in all his 
strength and his weakness. Let me try to describe 



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lo BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

him. He stood about five feet ten inches in height ; 
he had an open, handsome countenance ; an active^ 
supple frame ; a daring courage that no danger could 
daunt ; a sweet, affectionate disposition which endeared 
him to all who knew him well. Those whom he 
attended in sickness could never forget his almost 
womanly tenderness, and those who attended him, his 
courageous endurance. His power of attaching both ■ 
friends and followers was unrivalled, and this extended 
to nearly every native with whom he came in contact. 
His few failings were his too great frankness, his 
readiness to believe that men were what they professed 
to be, or should have been, and (for a short time in 
latter years) that the unsophisticated lower classes 
were more to be trusted and relied on than those 
above them in birth and education. His only weak- 
nesses were, in truth, such as arose from his great 
goodness of heart and his confiding nature. 

No painter ever succeeded better in conveying a 
man's self into a portrait than Sir Francis Grant in 
his picture of Sir James Brooke. I have it now before 
me, and all I have said of his appearance may be seen 
at a glance. Although thirty years have passed since 
we lost him, he remains as much enshrined as ever in 
the hearts of his few surviving friends. 

This brief preliminary chapter ended, I will now 
describe Brooke's voyage to Borneo, and the events 
which succeeded that remarkable undertaking. 



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CHAPTER II 

EXPEDITION TO BORNEO FIRST VISIT TO SARAWAK 

VOYAGE TO CELEBES SECOND VISIT TO SARAWAK 

JOINS MUDA HASSIM's ARMY BROOKE's AC- 
COUNT OF THE PROGRESS OF THE CIVIL WAR — 
IT IS ENDED UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF HIS 
ACTIVE INTERFERENCE — HE SAVES THE LIVES OF 
THE REBEL CHIEFS 

Brooke sailed from Devonport on December i6, 
1838, in the Royalist^ belonging to the Royal Yacht 
Squadron, which, in foreign ports, admitted her to the 
same privileges as a ship of war, and enabled her to carry 
a white ensign. As the Royalist is still an historic 
character in the Eastern Archipelago, I must let the 
owner describe her as she was in 1838. *She sails 
fast ; is conveniently fitted up ; is armed with six 
six-pounders, and a number of swords and small arms 
of all sorts ; carries four boats and provisions for four 
months. Her principal defect is being too sharp in 
the floor. She is a good sea boat, and as well calculated 
for the service as could be desired. Most of the 
hands have been with me for three years, and the 
rest are highly recommended.' 



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12 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

Whilst the Royalist is speeding on prosperously 
towards Singapore, and calling at Rio Janeiro and 
the Cape, let me sum up in a few words the object 
of the voyage. 

The memorandum ^ which Brooke drew up on the 
then state of the Indian Archipelago (1838), shows 
how carefully he had studied the whole subject. He 
first expounds the policy which England should 
follow if she wished to recover the position which 
she wantonly threw away after the peace of 1815 ; 
he then explains what he proposed to do for the 
furtherance of our knowledge of Borneo and the 
other great islands to the East. Circumstances, 
however, as he anticipated might be the case, made 
him change the direction of his first local voyage. 

The Royalist arrived in Singapore in May 1839, 
and remained at that port till the end of July, refitting 
and preparing for fixture work. There Brooke re- 
ceived news which induced him to give up for the 
present the proposed voyage to Marudu Bay, the 
northernmost district of Borneo, and visit Sarawak 
instead. Rajah Muda Hassim, uncle to the Sultan 
of Brunei, was then residing there, and being of a 
kindly disposition, had taken care of the crew of a 
shipwrecked English vessel, and sent the men in 
safety to Singapore. This unlooked-for conduct on 
the part of a Malay chief roused the interest of the 
Singapore merchants, and Brooke was requested to 

' See Appendix. 



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RAJAH BROOKE 13 

call in at Sarawak and deliver to the Malay prince a 
letter and presents from the Chamber of Commerce. 

This was a fortunate diversion of his voyage, as 
at that time Marudu was governed by a notorious 
pirate chief. The bay was a rendezvous for some of 
the most daring marauders in the Archipelago, and 
nothing could have been done there to further our 
knowledge of the interior. 

All being ready, and the crew strengthened by 
eight Singapore Malay seamen,^ athletic fellows, capital 
at the oar, and to save the white men the work of 
wooding and watering, the Royalist sailed for Borneo 
on the 27th of July, and in five days was anchored 
ofF the coast of Sambas. All the charts were found 
to be wrong, so that every care had to be taken 
whilst working up the coast. A running survey 
was made, and on the nth August Brooke found 
himself at the mouth of the Sarawak river. 

When Brooke first arrived in Borneo, the Sultan 
Omar Ali claimed all the coast from the capital to 
Tanjong Datu, whilst further south was Sambas, 
under the influence of the Dutch ; but the rule of 
Omar Ali was little more than nominal, as each chief 
in the different districts exercised almost unlimited 
power, and paid little or no tribute to the central 
Government. 

At the time of Brooke's first visit to Sarawak the 

^ I knew one of them, Subu, the favourite of every foreigner in 
Sarawak. 



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14 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

Malays of the country had broken wit into revolt against 
the oppressive rule of Pangeran Makota, Governor of 
the district, and fearing that they might call in the aid of 
the Sambas Malays, and thus place the country under 
the control of the Dutch, the Sultan sent down 
Rajah Muda Hassim, his uncle and heir-presumptive, 
to endeavour to stifle the rebellion ; but three years 
had passed, and he had done nothing. He could 
prevent the rebels from communicating with the sea, 
but he was powerless in the interior. 

On hearing of the arrival of the Royalist at the 
mouth of the river, Muda Hassim despatched a deputa- 
tion to welcome the stranger and invite him to the 
capital — rather a grand name for a small village. 
Brooke soon got his vessel under weigh, and proceeded 
up the Sarawak, and after one slight mishap, anchored 
the next day opposite the rajah's house, and saluted 
his flag with twenty-one guns. 

Muda Hassim received Brooke in state, and the 
interview is thus described : * The rajah was seated 
in his hall of audience, which, outside, is nothing but 
a large shed, erected on piles, but within decorated 
with taste. Chairs were arranged on either side of 
the ruler, who occupied the head seat. Our party 
were placed on one hand, and on the other sat his 
brother Mahommed, and Makota and some other of 
the principal chiefs, whilst immediately behind him 
his twelve younger brothers were seated. The dress 
of Muda Hassim was simple, but of rich material, and 



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RAJAH BROOKE 15 

most of the principal men were well, and even superbly 
dressed. His countenance is plain, but intelligent and 
highly pleasing, and his manners perfectly easy. His 
reception was kind, and, I am given to understand, 
highly flattering. We sat, however, trammelled by 
the formalities of state, and our conversation did not 
extend beyond kind inquiries and professions of friend- 
ship.' Brooke's next interview was more informal, 
and closer relations were established, which encouraged 
him to send his interpreter, Mr Williamson, to ask 
permission to visit the Dyaks. This was readily 
granted, but before commencing his explorations, 
he received a private visit from Pangeran Makota. 
He was probably the most intelligent Malay whom 
we ever met in Borneo, frank and open in manner, 
but looked upon as the most cunning of the rajah's 
advisers. He was much puzzled, as were indeed all 
the nobles, as to the true object of Brooke's visit to 
Borneo, and confident in his power, determined to 
find it out. And though Brooke had in reality no 
object but geographical discovery, he could not con- 
vince his guest of that feet, who scented some deep 
intrigue under the guise of a harmless visit. 

Brooke now took advantage of the rajah's permission 
to explore some of the neighbouring rivers, and he was 
shown first the fine agricultural district of Samarahan, 
but only met Malays. His next visit was to the 
Dyak tribe of Sibuyows, who lived on the river 
Lundu, which discharged its waters not many miles 



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1 6 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

from Cape Datu, the southern boundary of Borneo 
proper. 

From Tanjong Datu, as far as the river Rejang, 
the interior populations are called Dyaks — Land or 
Sea Dyaks — the former, a quiet, agricultural people, 
living in the far interior, plundered and oppressed by 
the Malays ; they are to be found in Sarawak, Sama- 
rahan and Sadong. The Sea Dyaks were much more 
numerous, and though under the influence of the 
Malays and Arab adventurers, were too powerful ever 
to be ill-treated. They occupied the districts of Seribas 
and Batang Lupar, and those on the left bank of the 
Rejang, with a few scattered villages in other parts, 
such as this Sibuyow tribe on the Lundu. 

The chief of this branch of the Sea Dyaks, the 
Orang Kaya Tumangong, was always a great 
favourite of the English officers in Sarawak. His 
was the first tribe that Brooke visited, and he then 
formed a high opinion of the brave man and his 
gallant sons, who were faithful unto death, and who 
were always the foremost when any fighting was on 
hand. 

The village they occupied was, in fact, but one huge 
house, nearly six hundred feet in length, and the inner 
half divided into fifty separate residences for the fifty 
families that constituted the tribe. The front half of 
this long building was an open space, which was used 
by the inhabitants during the day for every species of 
work, and at night was occupied by the widowers, 



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RAJAH BROOKE 17 

bachelors and boys as their bedroom. The Sea 
Dyaks are much cleaner than the Land Dyaks, and 
the girls of Sakarang, for instance, looked as well 
washed as any of their sisters in May Fair. 

The distinction of Land and Sea Dyaks was due 
to the fact that the former never ventured near the 
salt water, whilst the latter boldly pushed out to sea 
in their light bangkongs or war boats, and cruised 
along at least two thousand miles of coast. When the 
Royalist first arrived in Sarawak the majority of the 
Sea Dyaks were piratically inclined. This practice 
arose in all probability from their inter-tribal wars — 
the Seribas against the Lingas and Sibuyows — ^and from 
their custom of seeking heads — almost a religious 
observance. When a party of young men went out to 
search for the means of marrying, and had failed to 
secure the heads of enemies, we can easily imagine 
their not being too particular about killing any weaker 
party they might meet, even if they were not enemies, 
and, finding it met with no retaliation, continuing the 
practice. In this they were encouraged by the Malay 
chiefs who lived among them, and who obtained, on 
easy terms, the women and children captives who fell 
into the hands of the Dyak raiders. Although the 
Linga and Sibuyow branches of the Sea Dyaks hunted 
for heads, they were the heads of their enemies, whilst 
the Seribas, and, in a lesser degree, the Sea Dyaks of 
the Sakarang and the Rejang spared no one they 
could overcome. 

B 



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1 8 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

Brooke's next visit was to the river Sadong, to the 
north-east of Sarawak, and there he met Sherif Sahib, 
a great encourager of piracy of every kind. Some- 
times he received the Lanuns,' the boldest marauders 
who ever invested the Far Eastern seas, bought their 
captives and supplied them with food, whilst at others 
he would aid the Seribas and Sakarangs in their forays 
on the almost defenceless tribes of the interior, or 
share their plunder acquired on the coasts of the 
Dutch possessions. 

Finding that the rebellion in the interior of the 
Sarawak would prevent him from visiting it, 
Brooke decided to return to Singapore. After a 
friendly parting with Muda Hassim, whose last 
words were, 'Do not forget me,' the Royalist fell 
down the river. The night before Brooke had 
settled to sail he was joined by a small Sarawak 
boat with a dozen men, who were to pilot him out ; 
but about midnight shouts were heard from the shore 
of ' Dyak ! Dyak '1 In an instant a blue light was 
burnt on board the yacht and a gun fired, and then 
there came a dead silence. Brooke sprang into a 
boat and pushed off to the Malay prahu, to find 
half the crew wounded. It seemed that a cruising 
party of Seribas Dyaks had no doubt seen the fire 
lighted on the shore, and had noiselessly floated up 
with the flood tide and attacked the Malays, not 

' The Lanuns came from the great island of MIndanau, in the Southern 
Philippines, which was a nominal possession of Spain, and cruised in 
well-armed vessels. 



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RAJAH BROOKE 19 

observing in the dark night the Royalist at anchor. 
This occurrence showed how necessary it was to be 
on one's guard at all times. 

The news brought by Brooke was well received in 
Singapore, as it opened up a new country to British 
commerce, and prevented the Dutch gaining a foot- 
ing there, with their vexatious trade regulations, 
which practically debarred native vessels from visit- 
ing British ports. 

As the Rajah Muda Hassim had assured his English 
visitor that jthe rebellion in the interior of Sarawak 
would collapse before the next fine season, he decided 
to pass the interval in visiting Celebes, a most attrac- 
tive island, then but imperfectly known. 

No part of Brooke's journals is more interesting 
than the account of his experiences in Bugis land. 
They are, however, simple travels, without many 
personal incidents to be noted ; but here, as elsewhere, 
he acquired the same ascendency over the natives, 
and the memory of his visit remained impressed on 
the minds of the Bugis rulers, who followed his 
advice in regulating their kingdoms, and especially 
listened to his counsels when he pointed out the 
danger of entering into armed conflict with their 
Dutch neighbours. 

The following observations extracted from Brooke's 
journals are remarkable : ' I must mention the 
effect of European domination in the Archi- 
pelago. The first voyagers from the West found 



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20 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

the natives rich and powerful, with strong estab- 
lished governments and a thriving trade. The 
rapacious European has reduced them to their 
present position. Their governments have been 
broken up, the old states decomposed by treachery, 
bribery and intrigue, their possessions snatched from 
them under flimsy pretences, their trade restricted, 
their vices encouraged, their virtues repressed, and 
their energies paralysed or rendered desperate, till 
there is every reason to fear the gradual extinction 
of the Malay. Let these considerations, fairly re- 
flected on and enlarged, be presented to the candid 
and liberal mind, and I think that, however strong 
the present prepossessions, they will shake the belief 
in the advantages to be gained by European ascend- 
ency, as it has heretofore been conducted, and will 
convince the most sceptical of the miseries immedi- 
ately and prospectively flowing from European rule 
as generally constituted.' 

The above observations naturally apply to the 
Dutch and Spanish systems, which at that time 
alone had sway in the Archipelago, as England, 
with' its small trading depots, did not actively inter- 
fere with the native princes. Yet it must be con- 
fessed that Borneo proper, which had generally escaped 
interference from their European neighbours, fell from 
a position fairly important to the most degraded state, 
entirely owing to the incapacity of its native rulers 
and not to outside influences. 



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RAJAH BROOKE 21 

The visits to Sarawak and Celebes tended to con- 
firm Brooke's convictions that, if England would 
but act on a settled plan and on a sufficient scale, 
she could still save and develop the independent 
native states, without any necessity of occupying 
them. 

In the year 1776 the Sultan of Sulu ceded to 
England all his possessions in the north of Borneo, 
and the East India Company formed a small settle- 
ment on the Island of Balambangan ; this being 
on a very inefficient scale, was easily surprised by 
pirates and destroyed. Later on another attempt was 
made by the Company to establish themselves on 
the island, but it was soon abandoned. 

Brooke, after carefully studying the subject, came to 
the same conclusion as Sir Stamford Raffles and Colonel 
Farquhar had done before him, that it was a mistake 
to take small islands ; but that, on the contrary, this 
country should establish a settlement on the mainland 
of Borneo. As all the independent states of the Archi- 
pelago are filled with a maritime population, islands 
are not so safe from attack as the mainland, where 
the interior population is rarely warlike. He recom- 
mended that England should take possession of 
Marudu Bay, establish herself strongly there, be 
constantly supported by the navy, and from thence 
the Governor, with diplomatic powers, could visit 
all the independent chiefs and make such treaties 
with them as would prevent their being absorbed by 



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22 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

other European States. His policy was of the most 
liberal kind ; he would have sought no exclusive trade 
privileges, but he would have preserved their political 
independence. He would have established in the 
more important states carefully - selected English 
agents, to encourage the chiefs in useful reforms 
and to prevent restrictions on commerce. On the 
mainland he would not have instantly established 
English rule, except in a well-chosen, central spot, 
and there he would have awaited the invitation of 
the chiefs to send an English officer to aid them in 
governing. 

Had this great plan been executed on a suitable 
scale Brooke's name would have been enshrined 
among the greatest builders of the British Empire. 
It is not too late even now ; but where shall we 
find another Brooke to carry it out ? North Borneo 
is at present under the protection of Great Britain, 
but it is owned and administered by a Chartered 
Company, and in these days cannot, under such 
conditions, hold the same position as a Crown 
colony. 

The time seems propitious. The Spaniards have 
lost their hold over the Philippines, and Sulu and the 
great island of Mindanau will soon be free from their 
depressing influence ; even the Dutch are acting on 
a more enlightened system, which would be en- 
couraged, if England took an active interest in the 
Archipelago. The North Borneo Company would 



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RAJAH BROOKE 23 

scarcely refuse a proposal to place the country under 
our direct rule, and with another Sir Hugh Low 
it might be made a valuable possession, and would 
gradually dominate the whole of the Archipelago. 

The Philippines will now be governed by one of 
the most progressive nations in the world, and the 
effect of their rule will be far-reaching. It would 
appear to be advisable that Great Britain should 
simultaneously take over North Borneo, as the condi- 
tions heretofore existing have so completely changed. 

From Celebes Brooke returned to Singapore to 
refit. His plans were to visit Borneo again, then 
proceed to Manila, and so home by Cape Horn. He 
arrived at our settlement in May, left it again in 
August, and reached Sarawak on the 29th, to find 
himself cordially received by Muda Hassim. The 
war was not over, nor was the end of it in sight. 
A few half-starved Dyaks had deserted the Sarawak 
Malays, and come into the Bornean camp to be fed ; 
but the route to Sambas was still open, and it was 
suspected that supplies were furnished by the Sultan 
of Sambas, who coveted the territory. 

After considerable discussion and consideration, 
Brooke thought he would visit the headquarters of 
the army which was supposed to be besieging the 
enemy ; but he found it seven miles below the 
principal hostile fort. The spot was called Ledah 
Tanah, or the tongue of land, where the two 
branches of the river meet. It was the site of the 



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24 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

old capital, and even when I was there some ten 
years later the iron-wood posts of the houses still 
existed, untouched by time, though over sixty years 
in use. As Brooke expected, Makota, at the head 
of the army, was doing nothing, and as he rejected 
the advice of his white visitor, and seemed determined 
not to advance nearer to the enemy, Brooke returned 
to Sarawak, and even announced his departure, as 
the North-East monsoon was coming on, and he did . 
not wish to face it on his voyage to Manila. How- 
ever, Muda Hassim appeared to feel his departure so 
acutely, that his heart smote him, and he agreed to 
visit the army once more, particularly as the Land 
Dyaks were now really leaving the rebels and joining 
the Bornean forces. He therefore returned to the 
camp, and by his energy compelled Makota to act. 
The stockade at Ledah Tanah was pulled down and 
moved to within a mile of the enemy's chief fort, 
Balidah, and gradually stockade after stockade was 
built, until the most commanding one was erected 
within three hundred yards of the hostile fort. Brooke 
sent to the yacht for two six-pounders and a suiHcient 
supply of ammunition, and, with the aid of his men, 
soon battered down the weak defences of the enemy, 
and then proposed an assault. But this bold advice 
was looked upon as insanity, and though promises to 
advance were freely given, when it came to action 
they all hung back. At length, wearied with this pro- 
crastination, Brooke, in spite of the entreaties of all 



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RAJAH BROOKE 25 

the native chiefs, embarked his guns and returned to 
the Royalist^ and sent word to the rajah that his 
stay was utterly useless ; but when Muda Hassim 
heard the decision, ^his deep regret was so visible 
that even all the self-command of the native could 
not disguise it. He begged, he entreated me to 
stay, and offered me the country, its government 
and its trade, if I would only stop and not desert 
him/ 

Though Brooke could not accept the grant then, 
as it would have been extracted from the rajah's deep 
distress, he agreed to retui-n to the army ; and once 
more the guns were embarked in the boats, and every 
man who could be spared from the Royalist accompanied 
Brooke to the front. There he met Budrudin, Muda 
Hassim's favourite brother, with whom he soon con- 
tracted a friendship which ended only with the Malay 
prince's life. He was brave, frank and intelligent ; 
he quickly appreciated the noble character of the 
white leader of men, and ever after he fully trusted 
him. 

The episodes of the closing campaign of this civil 
war were so amusing, that although the story has been 
published several times, I cannot refrain from repeat- 
ing it again in the words of the English chief. ^ 

'On the lOth December we reached the fleet and 
disembarked our guns, taking up our residence in 
a house, or rather shed, close to the water. The 

' ^<ytfg"f of the Didoy Vol. I., page 172, et scq. 



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26 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

rajah's brother, Pangeran Budrudin, was with the 
army, and I found him ready and willing to urge 
upon the other indolent pangerans the proposals I 
made for vigorous hostilities. We found the grand 
army in a state of torpor, eating, drinking and walking 
up to the forts and back again daily ; but having built 
these imposing structures, and their appearance not 
driving the enemy away, they were at a loss what 
to do next, or how to proceed. On my arrival, I 
once more insisted on mounting the guns in our 
old forts, and assaulting Balidah under their fire. 
Makota's timidity and vacillation were too apparent ; 
but in consequence of Budrudin's overawing presence 
he was obliged, from shame, to yield his assent. The 
order for the attack was fixed as follows : our party 
of ten (leaving six to serve the guns) were to be 
headed by myself. Budrudin, Makota, Subtu and 
all the lesser chiefs were to lead their followers, 
from sixty to eighty in number, by the same route, 
whilst fifty or more Chinese, under their captain, were 
to assault by another path to their left. Makota was 
to make the paths as near as possible to Balidah, with 
his Dyaks, who were to extract the sudas and fill up 
the holes. The guns having been mounted, and their 
range ascertained the previous evening, we ascended 
to the fort about eight a.m., and at ten opened our fire 
and kept it up for an hour. The effect was severe. 
Every shot told upon their thin defences of wood, 
which fell in many places so as to leave storming 



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RAJAH BROOKE 27 

breaches. Part of the roof was cut away and tumbled 
down, and the shower of grape and canister rattled so 
as to prevent their returning our fire, except from 
a stray rifle. At mid-day the forces reached the 
fort, and it was then discovered that Makota had 
neglected to make any road because it rained the 
night before ! It was evident that the rebels had 
gained information of our intentions as they had 
erected a fringe of bamboo along their defences on 
the very spot we had agreed to mount. Makota 
fancied the want of a road would delay the attack ; 
but I well knew that delay was equivalent to failure, 
and so it was at once agreed that we should advance 
without any path. The poor man*s cunning and 
resources were now nearly at an end. He could not 
refuse to accompany us, but his courage could not 
be brought to the point, and pale and embarrassed 
he retired. Everything was ready — Budrudin, the 
Capitan China and myself, at the head of our men — 
when he once more appeared, and raised a subtle 
point of etiquette, which answered his purpose. He 
represented to Budrudin that the Malays were unani- 
mously of opinion that the rajah's brother could 
not expose himself in an assault ; that the dread of 
the rajah's indignation fer exceeded their dread of 
death ; and in case any accident happened to him, 
his brother's fury would fall on them. Budrudin 
was angry, I was angry too, and the doctor most 
angry of all ; but anger was unavailing! It was clear 



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28 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

they did not intend to do anything in earnest ; and 
after much discussion, in which Budrudin insisted if 
I went he should likewise go, and the Malays insisted 
that if he went they would not go, it was resolved 
that we should serve the guns, whilst Abong Mia 
and the Chinese, not under the captain, should 
proceed to the assault. But its fate was sealed, and 
Makota had gained his object ; for neither he nor 
Subtu thought of exposing themselves to a single 
shot. Our artillery opened and was beautifully 
served. The hostile forces attempted to advance, but 
our fire completely subdued them, as only three rifles 
answered us, by one of which a seaman was wounded 
in the hand, but not seriously. Two-thirds of the way 
the storming party proceeded without the hostile army 
being aware of their advance, and they might have 
reached the very foot of the hill without being dis- 
covered, had not Abong Mia, from excess of piety 
and rashness, began most loudly to say his prayers. 
The three rifles began then to play on them. One 
Chinaman was killed, the whole halted, the prayers 
were more vehement than ever, and after squatting 
under cover of the jungle for some time they all 
returned. It was only what I expected, but I was 
greatly annoyed by their cowardice and treachery — 
treachery to their own cause. One lesson, however, 
I learnt, and that was, that had I assaulted with our 
small party, we should assuredly have been victimised. 
The very evening of the failure the rajah came 



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RAJAH BROOKE 29 

up the river. I would not see him, and only heard 
that the chiefs got severely reprimanded ; but the 
effects of reprimand are lost where cowardice is 
stronger than shame. Inactivity followed, two or 
three useless forts were built, and Budrudin, much 
to my regret and to the detriment of the cause, 
was recalled, 

* Amongst the straggling arrivals I may mention 
Pangeran Dallam, with a number of men, consisting 
of the Orang Bintulu, Meri, Muka and Kayan Dyaks 
from the interior. Our house, or, as it originally stood, 
our shed, deserves a brief record. It was about twenty 
feet long, with a loose floor of reeds and an attap or 
palm-leaf roof. It served us for some time, but the 
attempts at theft obliged us to fence it in and 
divide it into apartments — one at the end served for 
Middleton, Williamson and myself. Adjoining it was 
the storeroom and hospital, and the other extreme 
belonged to the seamen. Our improvements kept 
pace with our necessities. Theft induced us to shut 
in our house at the sides, and the unevenness of the 
reeds suggested the advantage of laying a floor of the 
bark of trees over them, which, with mats over all, 
rendered our domicile far from uncomfortable. Our 
forts gradually extended to the back of the enemy's 
town, on a ridge of swelling ground, whilst they 
kept pace with us on the same side of the river on 
the low ground. The inactivity of our troops had 
long become a by-word amongst us. It was, indeed. 



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30 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

truly vexatious, but it was in vain to urge them 
on, in vain to offer assistance, in vain to propose 
a joint attack, or even to seek support at their hands ; 
promises were to be had in plenty, but performances 
never. 

*At length our leaders resolved on building a fort 
at Sekundis, thus outflanking the enemy and gain- 
ing the command of the upper course of the river. 
The post was certainly an important one, and in 
consequence they set about it with the happy in- 
difference which characterises their proceedings. 
Pangeran Illudin (the most active amongst them) 
had the building of the fort, assisted by the Orang 
Kaya Tumangong of Lundu. Makota, Subtu and 
others were at the next fort, and by chance I was 
there likewise ; for it seemed to be little apprehended 
that any interruption would take place, as the Chinese 
and the greater part of the Malays had been left in 
the boats. When the fort commenced, however, the 
enemy crossed the river and divided into two bodies, 
the one keeping in check the party at Pangeran 
Gapoor's fort, whilst the other made an attack on 
the works. The ground was not unfavourable for 
their purpose, for Pangeran Gapoor's fort was 
separated from Sekundis by a belt of thick wood 
which reached down to the river's edge. Sekundis 
itself, however, stood on clear ground, as did Gapoor's 
fort. I was with Makota at the latter when the 
enemy approached through the jungle. The two 



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RAJAH BROOKE 31 

parties were within easy speaking distance, challeng- 
ing and threatening each other, but the thickness of 
the jungle prevented our seeing or penetrating to 
them. When this body had advanced, the real 
attack commenced on Sekundis with a fire of 
musketry, and I was about to proceed to the scene, 
but was detained by Makota, who assured me there 
were plenty of men, and that it was nothing at all. 
As the musketry became thicker, I had my doubts 
when a Dyak came running through the jungle, and 
with gestures of impatience and anxiety begged me 
to assist the party attacked. He had been sent by 
my old friend the Tumangong of Lundu, to say 
they could not hold the post unless supported. In 
spite of Makota's remonstrances, I struck into the 
jungle, winded through the narrow path, and, after 
crossing an ugly stream, emerged on the clear ground. 
The sight was a pretty one. To the right was the un- 
finished stockade, defended by the Tumangong ; to the 
left, at the edge of the forest, about twelve or fifteen 
of our party, commanded by lUudin, whilst the 
enemy were stretched along between the points, and 
kept up a sharp-shooting from the hollow ground on 
the bank of the river. They fired and loaded and 
fired, and had gradually advanced on the stockade, 
as the ammunition of our party failed ; and as we 
emerged from the jungle, they were within twenty 
or five-and-twenty yards of the defence. A glance 
immediately showed me the advantage of our position, 



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32 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

and I charged with my Englishmen across the padi 
field, and the instant we appeared on the ridge above 
the river, in the hollows of which the rebels were 
seeking protection, their rout was complete. They 
scampered off in every direction, whilst the Dyaks 
and Malays pushed them into the river. Our victory 
was decisive and bloodless ; the scene was changed in 
an instant, and the defeated foe lost arms and ammuni- 
tion either on the field of battle or in the river, and our 
exulting conquerors set no bounds to their triumph. 

' I cannot omit to mention the name of Si Tundu, 
a Lanun, the only native who charged with us. 
His appearance and dress were most striking, the 
latter being entirely of red, bound round the waist, 
arms, forehead, etc., with gold ornaments, and in 
his hand his formidable Bajuk sword. He danced, 
or rather galloped, across the field close to me, and, 
mixing with the enemy, was about to despatch a 
haji, or priest, who was prostrate before him, when 
one of our people interposed, and saved him by 
stating that he was a companion of our own. The 
Lundu Dyaks were very thankful for our support, 
our praises were loudly sung, and the stockade was 
concluded. After the rout, Makota, Subtu and Abong 
Mia arrived on the field ; the last, with forty followers, 
had ventured half way before the firing ceased, but 
the detachment, under a paltry subterfuge, halted so 
as not to be in time. The enemy might have had 
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RAJAH BROOKE 33 

sisted of about the same number, but the Dyaks 
had very few muskets. I had a dozen Englishmen, 
Subu, one of our Singapore boatmen, and Si Tundu. 
Sekundis was a great point gained, as it hindered the 
enemy from ascending the river and seeking supplies. 

^Makota, Subtu and the whole tribe arrived as 
soon as their safety from danger allowed, and none 
were louder in their own praise, but, nevertheless, 
their countenances evinced some sense of shame, 
which they endeavoured to disguise by the use of 
their tongues. The Chinese came really to afford 
assistance, but too late. We remained until the 
stockade of Sekundis was finished, while the enemy 
kept up a wasteful fire from the opposite side of the 
river, which did no harm. 

* The next great object was to follow up the advan- 
tage by crossing the stream, but day after day some 
fresh excuse brought on fresh delay, and Makota 
built a new fort and made a new road within a 
hundred yards of our old position. I cannot detail 
further our proceedings for many days, which con- 
sisted, on my part, in efforts to get something done, 
aixd on the others, a close adherence to the old system 
of promising everything and doing nothing. The 
Chinese, like the Malays, refused to act ; but on their 
part it was not fear, but disinclination. By degrees, 
however, the preparations for the new fort were com- 
plete, and I had gradually gained over a party of the 
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34 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

the bravest of them had joined themselves to us, and 
what was better, we had Datu Pangerang and 
thirteen lUanuns, and the Capitan China allowed 
me to take his men whenever I wanted them. 
My weight and consequence was increased, and 
I rarely moved now without a long train of 
followers. The next step, whilst crossing the river 
was uncertain, was to take my guns up to Gapoor's 
fort, which was about six or seven hundred yards 
from the town, and half the distance from a rebel 
fort on the river's bank. 

'Panglima Rajah, the day after our guns were in 
battery, took it into his head to build a fort on the 
river's side, close to the town in front, and between 
two of the enemy's forts. It was a bold undertaking 
for the old man after six weeks of uninterrupted 
repose. At night, the wood being prepared, the 
party moved down, and worked so silently that they 
were not discovered till their defence was nearly 
finished, when the enemy commenced a general firing 
from all their forts, returned by a similar firing from 
all ours, none of the parties being quite clear what 
they were firing at or about, and the hottest from 
either party being equally harmless. We were at the 
time about going to bed in our habitation, but ex- 
pecting some reverse I set oflF to the stockade where 
our guns were placed, and opened a fire upon the 
town and the stockade near us, till the enemy's fire 
gradually slackened and died away. We then re- 



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RAJAH BROOKE 35 

turned, and in the morning were greeted with the 
pleasing news that they had burned and deserted five 
of their forts, and left us sole occupants of the left 
bank of the river. The same day, going through the 
jungle to see one of these deserted forts, we came 
upon a party of the enemy, and had a brief skirmish 
with them before they took to flight. Nothing can 
be more unpleasant to a European than this bush- 
fighting, where he scarce sees a foe, whilst he is well 
aware that their eyesight is far superior to his own. 
To proceed with this narrative, I may say that four 
or five forts were built on the edge of the river 
opposite the enemy's town, and distant not above 
fifty or sixty yards. Here our guns were removed, and 
a fresh battery formed ready for a bombardment, and 
fire-balls essayed to ignite the houses. 

* At this time Sherif Jaffer, from Linga, arrived with 
about seventy men, Malays and Dyaks of Balow. 
The river Linga, being situated close to Seribas, and 
incessant hostilities being waged between the two 
places, he and his followers were both more active 
and warlike than the Borneans ; but their warfare 
consists of closing hand to hand with spear and 
sword. They scarcely understood the proper use 
of firearms, and were of little use in attacking 
stockades. As a negotiator, however, the Sherif bore 
a distinguished part; and on his arrival a parley 
ensued, much against Makota's will, and some 
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36 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

Sherif at Siniawan, named Moksain. After ten days' 
delay nothing came of it, though the enemy betrayed 
great desire to yield. This negotiation being at an 
end, we had a day's bombardment, and a fresh treaty 
brought about thus : Makota being absent in Sarawak, 
I received a message from Sherif JafFer and Pangeran 
Subtu to say that they wished to meet me ; and on 
my consenting they stated that Sherif JafFer felt 
confident the war might be brought to an end, 
though alone he dared not treat with the rebels ; but, 
in case I felt inclined to join him, we could bring it 
to a fevourable conclusion. I replied that our habits 
of treating were very unlike their own, as we allowed 
no delays to interpose ; but that I would unite with 
him for one interview, and if that interview was 
favourable we might meet the chiefs at once and 
settle it, or put an end to all further treating. 
Pangeran Subtu was delighted with the proposition, 
urged its great advantages, and the meeting, by my 
desire, was fixed for that very night, the place 
Pangeran lUudin's fort at Sekundis. The evening 
arrived, and at dark we were at the appointed place 
and a message was despatched for Sherif Moksain. 
In the meantime, however, came a man from Pange- 
ran Subtu to beg us to hold no intercourse ; that the 
rebels were false, meant to deceive us, and if they 
did come we had better make them prisoners. Sherif 
JafFer, after arguing the point some time, rose to 
depart, remarking that with such proceedings he 



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RAJAH BROOKE 37 

would not consent to treat. I urged him to stay, 
but finding him bent on going I ordered my gig 
(which had some time before been brought overland) 
to be put into the water — my intention being to 
proceed to the enemy's kampong and hear what they 
had to say. I added that it was folly to leave undone 
what we had agreed to do in the morning because 
Pangeran Subtu changed his mind ; that I had come 
' to treat, and treat I would. I would not go away 
now without giving the enemy a feir hearing. For 
the good of all parties I would do it — ^and if the 
Sherif liked to join me, as we proposed before, and 
wait for Sherif Moksain, good ; if not, I would go in 
the boat to the kampong. My Europeans, on being 
ordered, jumped up, ran out and brought the boat 
to the water's edge and in a few minutes oars, rudder 
and rowlocks were in her. My companions, seeing 
this, came to terms, and we waited for Sherif Moksain, 
during which, however, I overheard a whispering 
conversation from Subtu's messenger, proposing to 
seize him, and niy temper was ruffled to such a 
degree, that I drew out a pistol, and told him I would 
shoot him dead if he dared to seize, or talk of seizing, 
any man who trusted himself from the enemy to meet 
me. The scoundrel slunk ofF, and we were no more 
troubled with him. This past, Sherif Moksain arrived, 
and was introduced into our fortress alone — ^alone 
and imarmed in an enemy's stockade, manned with 
two hundred men. His bearing was firm ; he ad- 



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38 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

vanced with ease and took his seat, and during the 
interview the only sign of uneasiness was the quick 
glance of his eye from side to side. The object he 
aimed at was to gain my guarantee that the lives of 
all the rebels should be spared, but this I had not in 
my power to grant. He returned to his kampong, 
and came again towards morning, when it was agreed 
that Sherif JafFer and myself should meet the Patingis 
and the Tumangong, and arrange terms with them. . 
By the time our conference was over the day broke, 
and we descended to our boats to have a little rest. 

* On the 20th December we met the chiefs on the 
river, and they expressed themselves ready to yield, 
without conditions, to the rajah, if I would promise 
that they should not be put to death. My reply 
was that I could give no such promise ; but if they 
surrendered, it must be for life or death, according to 
the rajah's pleasure, and all I could do was to use 
my influence to save their lives. To this they 
assented after a while ; but then there arose the more 
diflicult question, how they were to be protected 
until the rajah's orders arrived. They dreaded both 
Chinese and Malays, especially the former, who had 
just cause for angry feelings, and who, it was feared, 
would make an attack on them directly their sur- 
render had taken from them their means of defence. 
The Malays would not assail them in a body, but 
would individually plunder them, and give occasion 
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RAJAH BROOKE 39 

almost sufficient to break off the hitherto favourable 
negotiations, had I not proposed to them myself to 
undertake their defence, and to become responsible 
for their safety until the orders of their sovereign 
arrived. On my pledging myself to this they yielded 
up their strong fort of Balidah, the key of their 
position. I immediately made it known to our own 
party that no boats were to ascend or descend the 
river, and that any person attacking or pillaging the 
rebels were my enemies, and that I should fire upon 
them without hesitation. 

* Both Chinese and Malays agreed to the propriety of 
the measure, and gave me the strongest assurances of 
restraining their respective followers ; the former with 
good faith, the latter with the intention of involving 
matters, if possible, to the destruction of the rebels. 
By the evening we were in possession of Balidah, and 
certainly found it a formidable fortress, situated on a 
steep mound, with dense defences of wood, triple deep, 
and surrounded by two enclosures, thickly studded on 
the outside with ranjaus. The effect of our fire had 
shaken it completely, now much to our discomfort, 
for the walls were tottering and the roof as leaky as a 
sieve. On the 20th December, then, the war closed. 
The very next day, contrary to stipulation, the Malay 
pangerans tried to ascend the river, and when stopped 
began to expostulate. After preventing many, the 
attempt was made by Subtu and Pangeran Hassim 
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40 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

Three hails did not check them, and they came on, 
in spite of a blank cartridge and a wide ball to turn 
them back. But I was resolved, and when a dozen 
musket balls whistled over and fell close around them, 
they took to an ignominious flight. I subsequently 
upbraided them for this breach of promise, and Makota 
loudly declared they had been greatly to blame, but I 
discovered that he himself had set them on. 

^ I may now briefly conclude these details. I ordered 
the rebels to burn all their stockades, which they did 
at once, and deliver up the greater part of their arms, 
and I proceeded to the rajah to request from him their 
lives. Those who know the Malay character will 
appreciate the diflSculty of the attempt to stand be- 
tween the monarch and his victims. I only succeeded 
when, at the end of a long debate — I soliciting, he 
denying — I rose to bid him farewell, as it was my 
intention to sail directly, since, after all my exertions 
in his cause he would not grant me the lives of the 
people, I could only consider that his friendship for 
me was at an end. On this he yielded. I must own 
that during the discussion he had much the best of it ; 
for he urged that they had forfeited their lives by the 
law, as a necessary sacrifice to the future peace of the 
country ; and argued that in a similar case in my own 
native land no leniency would be shown. On the 
contrary, my reasoning, though personal, was, on the 
whole, the best for the rajah and the people. I 
explained my extreme reluctance to have the blood 



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RAJAH BROOKE 41 

of conquered foes shed ; the shame I should experience 
in being a party, however involuntarily, to their exe- 
cution, and the general advantage of a merciful line of 
policy. At the same time I told him that their lives 
were forfeited, their crimes had been of a heinous 
and unpardonable nature, and that it was only from so 
humane a man as himself, one with so kind a heart, 
that I could ask for their pardon ; but, I added, he 
well knew that it was only my previous knowledge of 
his benevolent disposition, and the great friendship I 
felt for him, which had induced me to take any part 
in the struggle. Other stronger reasons might have 
been brought forward, which I forbore to employ, 
as being repugnant to his princely pride, viz., that 
severity in this case would arm many against him, 
raise powerful enemies in Borneo proper, as well as 
here, and greatly impede the future right government 
of the country. However, having gained my point, I 
was satisfied. 

' Having fulfilled this engagement, and being, more- 
over, with many of my Europeans, attacked with ague, 
I left the scene with all the dignity of complete suc- 
cess. Subsequently the rebels were ordered to deliver 
up all their arms, ammunition and property ; and last, 
the wives and children of the principal people were 
demanded as hostages and obtained. The women and 
children were treated with kindness and preserved 
from injury or wrong. Siniawan thus dwindled 
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42 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

scattered about, most of them coming to Kuching. 
The better class pulled down the houses, abandoned 
the town and lived in boats for a month when, 
alarmed by the delay in settling terms and impelled 
by hunger, they also fled — Patingi Gapoor, it was said, 
to Sambas, and Patingi .Ali and the Tumangong 
amongst the Dyaks. After a time it was supposed 
they would return and receive their wives and 
children. The army gradually dispersed to seek 
food, and the Chinese were left in possession of the 
once renowned Siniawan, the ruin of which they 
completed by burning all that remained and erecting 
a village for themselves in the immediate neighbour- 
hood. Sherif JafFer and many others departed to their 
respective homes, and the pinching of famine succeeded 
to the horrors of war. Fruit, being in season, helped 
to support the wretched people, and the near approach 
of the rice harvest kept up their spirits.* 

Thus ended the great civil war, which is so re- 
nowned in local history. The three chiefs mentioned 
— Patingi Gapoor, Patingi Ali and the Tumangong — 
with their sons and relatives, will appear again as some 
of the principal actors in the history of Sarawak. All 
except Patingi Gapoor remained faithful to the end, 
or are still among the main supports of the present 
Government. I knew them all, with the exception of 
Patingi Ali, who was killed whilst gallantly heading 
an attack on the Sakarang pirates during Captain 
Keppel's expedition in 1844. 



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CHAPTER III 

THIRD VISIT TO SARAWAK — MAKOTA INTRIGUES 
AGAINST BROOKE VISIT OF THE STEAMER 

* DIANA* HE IS GRANTED THE GOVERNMENT 

OF SARAWAK — HIS PALACE — CAPTAIN KEPPEL 
OF H.M.S. *DIDO' VISITS SARAWAK EXPEDI- 
TION AGAINST THE SERIBAS PIRATES VISIT OF 

SIR EDWARD BELCHER — RAJAH BROOKE*S IN- 
CREASED INFLUENCE VISIT TO THE STRAITS 

SETTLEMENTS IS WOUNDED IN SUMATRA THE 

* DIDO ' RETURNS TO SARAWAK FURTHER OPER- 
ATIONS — NEGOTIATIONS WITH BRITISH GOVERN- 
MENT CAPTAIN BETHUNE AND MR WISE ARRIVE 

IN SARAWAK 

Peace being again restored to the country, Brooke 
was enabled to study the position. Muda Hassim 
occasionally mentioned his intention of rewarding his 
English ally for his great services by giving him the 
government of Sarawak ; but nothing came of it, as 
when the document for submission to the Sultan was 
duly prepared it proved to be nothing but ' permission 
to trade/ However unsatisfactory this might be, 

43 



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44 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

Brooke accepted it for the moment, and it was agreed 
that he should proceed to Singapore, load a schooner 
with merchandise, and return to open up the resources 
of the place. In the meantime the rajah was to 
build a house for his friend, and prepare a shipload of 
antimony ore as a return cargo for the schooner. 

While in Singapore Brooke wrote to his mother 
concerning his plans, and he now added, *I really 
have excellent hopes that this effort of mine will suc- 
ceed ; and while it ameliorates the condition of the 
unhappy natives, and tends to the promotion of the 
highest philanthropy, it will secure to me some better 
means of carrying through these grand objects. I call 
them grand objects, for they are so, when we reflect 
that civilisation, commerce and religion may through 
them be spread over so vast an island as Borneo. 
They are so grand, that self is quite lost when I con- 
sider them ; and even the failure would be so much 
better than the non-attempt, that I could willingly 
sacrifice myself as nearly as the barest prudence will 
permit.* 

Many, perhaps, could write such words, but Brooke 
really felt them, and fully intended to carry out his 
views, whatever obstacles might stand in his way ; 
and they were many, for on his return to Sarawak in 
the Royalisty with the schooner Swift laden with goods 
for the market, he found no house built and no cargo 
of antimony ready. A house in Sarawak could be 
built in ten days or a fortnight, as the materials are all 



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RAJAH BROOKE 45 

found in the jungle and the natives are expert at the 
work. 

The antimony was procurable, but, as Brooke after- 
wards found, it was the product of forced labour, 
almost always unpaid. One cannot but smile at 
Brooke's first attempt at trade. Without sending up 
to see whether the antimony was ready, he accepted 
Muda Hassim's word, and then handed over to him the 
whole of the cargo of the Swift. What might have 
been expected followed. No sooner had the Malay 
rajah secured the goods than the most profound 
apathy was shown as to the return cargo. The same 
system was followed with regard to the government 
of the country ; every attempt to discuss it was evaded, 
and I believe that Makota did his best to persuade 
'Muda Hassim that the Englishman was but a bird of 
passage, who would soon get tired of waiting, and 
would sail away without the return cargo, and drop 
all thoughts of governing the country. 

Pangeran Makota, who had been Brooke's enemy 
throughout all these proceedings, was now ready to 
act* He knew that the Land Dyaks in the interior, as 
well as the Malays of Siniawan whom the Englishman 
had aided to subdue, now looked to him as their pro- 
tector ; he therefore determined to destroy his prestige. 
He invited the Seribas Sea Dyaks and Malays to come 
to Sarawak j they came in a hundred bangkongs, or 
long war boats, with at least three thousand men, with 
the ostensible object of attacking a tribe living near 



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46 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

the Sambas frontier, who had not been submissive 
enough to Bornean exactions; but every violent act 
they committed would have been overlooked if they 
only gave a sufficient percentage of their captives to 
the nobles. Already these wild devils had received 
the rajah's permission to proceed up the river ; the 
Land Dyaks, the Malays, the Chinese were full of fear, 
as all are treated as enemies by the Seribas when out 
on the warpath. As soon as Brooke received notice 
of what Muda Hassim, instigated by Makota, had 
done, he retired to the Royalist and prepared .both his 
vessels for action. The Malay rulers, hearing how 
angry he was, and uncertain what steps he might 
take, recalled the expedition, which returned, furious 
at being baulked of their prey, and would have liked 
to have tried conclusions with the English ships, but 
found them too well on their guard. 

This very act which Makota expected would lower 
the Englishman's prestige, naturally greatly enhanced 
it, as it was soon known, even into the far interior, that 
the white stranger had but to say the word and this 
fearful scourge had been stayed. 

Another event soon followed which greatly raised 
Brooke's influence among the natives. He received 
notice that an English vessel had been wrecked on 
the north coast of Borneo, and that the crew were 
detained as hostages by the Sultan of Borneo for the 
payment of a ransom. He now sent the Royalist to 
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RAJAH BROOKE 47 

to Singapore for provisions, and remained with three 
companions in his new house in Sarawak. Could 
anything better prove his cool courage ? The Royalist 
failed in its mission, but almost immediately after its 
return, an East India Company's steamer came up the 
river to inquire as to its success, and finding the captive 
crew still at Brunei, proceeded there and quickly 
effected their release. The appearance of the Diana 
twice in the river had its effect on the population, 
as it was probably the first steamer they had ever 
seen. 

Makota had been greatly disappointed that his 
intrigues had failed to force the white strangers to quit 
the country, but his fertile invention now thought of 
more sure and criminal means. 'Why not poison 
them ? ' He tried, but failed ; his confederates con- 
fessed, and then Brooke resolved to act. Either 
Makota or himself must fall. By a judicious display 
of force, quite justified under the circumstances, he 
freed the rajah from the baneful influence of Makota, 
who from that time forward ceased to act as chief 
adviser, and regained his former ascendency. Muda 
Hassim immediately carried out his original promise, 
and in a formal document handed over the govern- 
ment of the district of Sarawak to Brooke. The news 
was received with rejoicing by the Land Dyaks, the 
Sarawak Malays and the Chinese, but with some 
misgivings by the rascally followers of the Bornean 
rajahs. This event took place in September 1841. 



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48 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

Brooke's first act was to request Muda Hassim to 
return to their families the women and children who 
had been given as hostages after the close of the 
civil war. He succeeded in most cases, but as the 
younger brothers of Muda Hassim had honoured with 
their notice some of the unmarried girls, he was 
forced to leave ten of them in the harems of the 
rajahs. 

Being now Governor of Sarawak, he determined to 
effect some reforms. One of the greatest difficulties 
he encountered was the introduction of impartial 
justice ; to teach the various classes that all were 
equal before the law. He opened a court, at which 
he himself provided, aided moreover, by some of the 
rajah's brothers and the chiefs of the Siniawan 
Malays, and dispensed justice according to the native 
laws, which in most cases are milder than those 
of European countries. When absent himself his 
chief officer acted for him. As long as these laws 
were only applied to Dyaks, Chinese or inferior 
Malays, there was no resistance, but when the 
privileged class and their unscrupulous followers were 
touched, there arose some murmurings. 

Brooke saw at once that to ensure stability to his 
rule he must govern the people through, and with the 
aid of, the chiefs to whom they were accustomed. 
He therefore proposed to Muda Hassim to restore to 
their former positions the men who had been at the 
head of the late rebellion, and who certainly had been 



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RAJAH BROOKE 49 

more sinned against than sinning. To this the rajah 
agreed, which added much to the Englishman's 
influence, not only among the Malays, but also 
among the Dyaks, who were accustomed to be ruled 
and, it must be confessed, to be plundered by these 
chiefs. But the tribes thought that it was better 
to pay exactions to one than to be exposed to the 
persecutions of many. 

Although Muda Hassim had made over to Brooke 
the government of the country, it was necessary that 
this grant should be ratified by the Sultan. Brooke 
therefore proceeded to Brunei in the Royalist^ ac- 
companied by Pangeran Budrudin. It was also very 
necessary to pave the way for Muda Hassim's 
return to the capital, with his rapacious followers, 
before Sarawak could really prosper. Everything 
succeeded ; the Sultan not only ratified the grant, but 
sent a strong invitation to his uncle to return to 
his old position of being the prime minister, whose 
absence they all deplored. His Highness sent letters 
to that effect, and when the Royalist arrived at 
Sarawak there was very general rejoicing. 

The greatest state was observed when the Sultan's 
letters were taken on shore. ' They were received and 
brought up to the reception hall amid large wax 
torches. The person who was to read them was 
stationed on a raised platform. Standing near him was 
the Rajah Muda Hassim, with a sabre in his hand ; in 
front was his brother JafFer with a tremendous Lanun 



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50 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

sword drawn ; and around were the other brothers and 
myself, all standing, the rest of the company being 
seated. The letters were then read — the last one 
appointing me to hold the, government of Sarawak — 
after which the rajah descended from the platform 
and said aloud, *'If anyone present disowns or con- 
tests the Sultan's appointment, let him now declare it." 
All were silent. "Is there any pangeran or young 
rajah that contests the question ? Pangeran Der 
Makota, what do you say ? " Makota expressed his 
willingness to obey. One or two other obnoxious 
pangerans, who had always opposed themselves to 
me, were each in turn challenged, and forced to 
promise obedience. The rajah then waved his sword, 
and with a loud voice exclaimed, " Whoever he may 
be that disobeys the Sultan's mandate now received, 
I will cleave his skull." And at the moment some 
ten of his younger brothers jumped from the verandah, 
and drawing their long krises, began to flourish and 
dance about, thrusting close to Makota, striking the 
pillar above his head, and pointing their weapons at his 
breast. A motion on his part would have been fatal, 
but he kept his eyes on the ground and stirred not. 
I too remained quiet, and cared nothing about this 
demonstration, for one gets accustomed to these 
things. It all passed ofF, and in ten minutes the men 
who had been leaping frantically about, with drawn 
weapons and inflamed countenances, were seated, quiet 
and demure as usual. This scene is a custom with 



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RAJAH BROOKE 51 

them, the only exception being that it was pointed so 
directly at Makota.' 

This unworthy chief was now ordered to leave the 
country, as his presence was not only distasteful to the 
Tuan Besar, as Brooke was called, but to all those whom 
he had driven, by his oppressions, into the rebellion 
which had lately been quelled. The Bornean rajahs 
also looked upon him as an interloper, and he found 
no support from them ; he was said, in fact, to be a 
stranger from the Dutch * sphere of influence,' as it is 
now the fashion to call possession without occupation. 

A new era was about to dawn on Sarawak by the 
advent of the British navy. Before dwelling on the 
change which took place in consequence, let me 
glance briefly at Brooke's position. He had been 
granted the government of the country by Rajah 
Muda Hassim, a grant confirmed by the Sultan ; he 
had gained the confidence of the former, who leaned 
on him for support, and who hoped through his 
influence to recover his former paramount position 
in the capital ; he was cordially supported by the 
Siniawan Malays, and was' fully trusted by the Land 
Dyaks. He was also aided to a certain extent by 
those useful but troublesome subjects the Chinese, 
who then only dreamt of making themselves supreme 
in the interior. He was supported by three English 
followers, and the occasional presence of his yacht, the 
Royalist, How was it possible for anyone, therefore, 
to declare that he had seized the country by force, and 



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52 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

held it by force, as was afterwards affirmed by a small 
English faction ? His only enemies were Pangeran 
Makota and a few discontented Borneans, who 
dreaded the reign of justice and order. Though 
secure of the support of the inhabitants of Sarawak, 
he was opposed by his neighbour the Sultan of Sambas, 
backed by the Dutch, and he had the mouths of his 
rivers almost blockaded during eight months of the 
year by the fleets of Lanun and Balignini pirates who 
cruised along the coast during the fine season. His 
people were also in constant peril from the expeditions 
organised by Sherif Sahib, the chief of the neighbour- 
ing district of Sadong, the rendezvous of every species 
of pirate ; and all coast trade was stopped by the con- 
stant presence of the Seribas and Sakarang Dyaks, led 
by their warlike Malays, who foraged along the whole 
western coast of Borneo. He was saved simply by 
his great prestige, as he had in reality no force with 
which he could cope with a large pirate fleet — a 
prestige acquired by his bravery, his tact, his great 
kindness, and the just and benevolent rule which he 
was striving with all his energy to introduce into his 
adopted country. 

And what were his chief objects ? How well the 
following lines express them : * It is a grand experi- 
ment, which, if it succeeds, will bestow a blessing on 
those poor people, and their children's children will 
bless my name.' Again, ' If it please God to permit 
me to give a stamp to this country which shall last 



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RAJAH BROOKE 53 

after I am no more, I shall have lived a life which 
emperors might envy. If by dedicating myself to 
the task I am able to introduce better customs and 
settled laws, and to raise the feeling of the people, so 
that their rights can never in future he wantonly 
infringed, I shall indeed be content and happy.' 

This is how the Rajah describes his residence and 
mode of life at Kuching : * I may now mention our 
house, or, as I fondly call it, our palace. It is an edifice 
fifty-four feet square, mounted on numerous posts of 
the nibong palm, with nine windows in each front. 
The roof is of nipa leaves, and the floors and partitions 
are all of planks. Furnished with couches, table, chairs, 
books, etc., the whole is as comfortable as man could 
wish for in this out-of-the-way country ; and we have 
besides bathing-house, cook-house and servants' apart- 
ments detached. The view from the house to the 
eastward comprises a reach of the river, and to the 
westward looks towards the blue mountains of 
Matang ; the north fronts the river and the south 
the jurtgle. Our abode, however, though spacious, 
cool and comfortable, can only be considered a 
temporary residence, for the best of all reasons, that 
in the course of a year it will tumble down, from the 
weight of the superstructure being placed on weak 
posts. 

* The time here passes monotonously, but not un- 
pleasantly. Writing, reading, chart-making employ 
my time between meals. My companions are equally 



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54 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

engaged — Mackenzie^ with copying logs, learning 
navigation and stuffing specimens of natural history ; 
Crymble is teaching our young Bugis and Dyak boys 
their letters for an hour every morning, copying my 
vocabularies of languages, ruling charts and the like ; 
whilst my servant Peter learns reading and writing 
daily, with very poor success, however. Our meals are 
about nine in the morning and four in the afternoon, 
with a cup of tea at eight. The evening is employed 
in walking never less than a mile and a half measured 
distance, and, after tea, reading and a cigar. Wine 
and grog we have none, and all appear better for it, 
or, at least, I can say so much for myself. Our bed- 
time is about eleven.' 

In 1843, after an almost unbroken stay of nearly 
two years in Borneo, Brooke again visited Singapore, 
and found welcome news. The British Government 
had decided to inquire into the Bornean question, and 
it was stated that Sir Edward Belcher had been 
ordered to visit Sarawak in H.M.S. Samarang ; but 
what was of much greater importance, and proved of 
incalculable benefit to Sarawak and to British interests 
in Borneo, was that Brooke made the acquaintance of 
Captain the Hon. Henry Keppel, who was in com- 
mand of H.M.S. Dido. As I have elsewhere remarked, 
Keppel, with the instincts of a gentleman, at once 
recognised that he had no adventurer but a true man 
before him, and henceforward exerted all his energy 

' He was afterwards killed by Chinese pirates. 



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RAJAH BROOKE 55 

and influence to further his friend's beneficent projects. 
They were indeed genuine Englishmen^ and looked 
to what would advance the veritable interests of their 
own country — to increase its prestige in Borneo and 
clear the seas of the pirates who destroyed native com- 
merce on its way to our settlements. 

The Dido in the first days of May 1843 sailed from 
Singapore for Sarawak, and on the 13th anchored off 
the Moratabus entrance of the river. When the 
natives heard that their Governor had arrived, they 
swarmed down to the ship in their boats, delighted at 
his return among them ; and the sight of the beautiful 
frigate, so powerful in their eyes, assured them that she 
would not leave before some measures had been taken 
against the pirates. Rajah Muda Hassim eagerly 
sei2^d on this opportunity to obtain some security for 
native trade, and earnestly entreated Captain Keppel 
to attack the pirates of Seribas and Sakarang, who 
were especially dangerous to the coast traffic. Having 
satisfied himself of the truth of the allegations against 
the marauders, Keppel determined to act, and, having 
announced his intention, he was soon assured of the 
support of a native contingent, who decided to follow 
their English chief wherever he went, although with 
many misgivings as to the result of an attack on these 
much-feared corsairs, who had plundered their coasts 
with impunity for several generations. 

I need not describe this expedition against the 
pirates, as the details have been often published ; and 



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56 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

as Admiral Keppel is now engaged in writing his 
memoirs, we shall have full particulars at first hand.^ 
The Dido anchored off the Seribas river, and being 
joined by a native force of five hundred men, the 
English boats put off with crews of about eighty sea- 
men and marines, and carried in the most dashing 
style every fort or obstruction placed in their way. 
No obstacles daunted them, and their enemies, 
numbering many thousands on each branch of the 
river, were so astonished by this novel mode of fight- 
ing in the open that they fled on every occasion, 
abandoning their towns and forts, which were 
promptly destroyed by our native allies, now trebled 
in number. The Seribas considered themselves in- 
vincible, and had collected their means of resistance 
in well-chosen spots, their guns covering the booms 
across the river, but to no purpose, and the towns of 
Paku, Padi and Rembas all shared the same fate. 

It is a very remarkable circumstance that as soon as 
each section recognised the hopelessness of resistance, 
they entered freely into communication with their 
assailants, and under cover of the white flag, and often 
unarmed, approached their English conquerors with 
perfect trust and confidence. They all agreed to visit 
Sarawak, and promised amendment for the future. 

The complete collapse of the defence astonished 
everyone, and those natives who had taken part in 
this memorable campaign began to acquire confidence 

' Sir Henry Keppel's Memoirs have lately been published. 



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RAJAH BROOKE 57 

in themselves, and were ever ready to follow their 
white leaders in all future expeditions. 

Captain Keppel, in his Voyage of the Dido^ has given 
us a very good account of the house in which Mr 
Brooke lived in 1843, ^"^ ^^ which I have already 
introduced its occupant's own description. Captain 
Keppel says that the English Rajah's residence, 
although equally rude in structure with the abodes 
of the natives, was not without its English comforts 
of sofas, chairs and bedsteads. It was larger than any 
other house in the place, but, like them, was built 
on nibong piles, and to enter it it was necessary to 
make use of a ladder. The house consisted of but 
one floor ; a large room in the centre, neatly orna- 
mented with every description of firearms in admirable 
order and ready for use, served as audience hall and 
mess room, and the various apartments around it as 
bedrooms, most of them comfortably furnished with 
matted floors, easy-chairs, pictures and books, with 
much more taste and attention to comfort than 
bachelors usually display. But, the fact is, you could 
never enter any place where Brooke had passed a few 
days without being struck by the artistic arrangement 
of everything. His good taste was shown even in 
trifles, though comfort was never sacrificed to show. 
The house was surrounded by palisades and a ditch, 
forming an enclosure, in which were to be found 
sheep, goats, pigeons, cats, poultry, geese, ducks, 
monkeys, dogs, and occasionally a cow or two. 



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58 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

Then, as later, the great hour of meeting was sun- 
set, when, after the preliminary cold bath to brace the 
nerves, relaxed by the heat of the day, all the party 
met to dine. When Keppel was at Kuching all the 
ofEcers of the Dido were welcome, and many a merry 
evening was passed at Brooke's house. I have often 
heard him speak of that glorious time. Then the future 
was all hope, no disappointments had depressed the 
mind, and the cheerfulness of the host was infectious. 
I have never met anyone who in his playful mood was 
more charming. He told a story well, he was animated 
in discussion, fertile in resource, and, when beaten in 
argument, would shift his ground with great dexterity, 
and keep up the discussion to the entertainment of 
us all. An appreciative observer once wrote, *The 
Rajah has certainly a most uncommon gift of fluency 
of language. Every subject derives an additional 
interest from his mode of discussing it, and his ideas 
are so original that to hear him speak is like opening 
out a new world before one. His views about Sarawak 
are so grand that it is with real pain one thinks how 
very little has been done to aid him in his noble 
efForts.' Captain Keppel was also a capital storyteller, 
so that between the two, with occasional assistance 
from the others, the time passed gaily, and it was often 
well on in the small hours before the party broke up. 

It was a great disappointment to all that Captain 
Keppel now received orders to proceed to China, as 
he had intended before his departure to complete his 



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RAJAH BROOKE 59 

work by attacking the Sakarangs, who lived in the 
interior of the Batang Lupar river, and who were 
powerfully supported by Arab and Malay chiefs. 

The next event of importance was the arrival of 
Sir Edward Belcher in H.M.S. Samarang. He had 
been sent to report on Sarawak and on Bornean affairs 
in general. He was a clever but very unpopular man, 
and made his ship the most uncomfortable in the ser- 
vice. After a short stay in Sarawak, visiting the 
interior and making inquiries, he decided to proceed 
to Brunei and enter into communication with the 
Sultan. Brooke was to have accompanied him, but 
the Samarang had but just started to descend the 
river when she touched on a rock, and as the tide fell, 
she turned over on her side and filled with water. It 
was a misfortune to the ship, but a blessing to Sarawak, 
as it drew general attention to Brooke's settlement. 
By dint of the greatest exertion on the part of officers 
and crew, and the aid afforded by the native popula- 
tion, within eleven days the vessel was again afloat. 
In the meantime the Royalist had been sent to Singa- 
pore for provisions and aid, and before twelve days had 
elapsed she returned with a ship of war. Others soon 
followed, to find the Samarang out of all danger. As 
soon as her refit was completed, she sailed for Brunei 
with Brooke on board. His friends had pointed out 
to him that, to render his work in Sarawak permanent, 
he must obtain a grant in perpetuity from the Govern- 
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over, His Highness the Sultan wrote to Sir Edward 
Belcher expressing the strong desire of his Government 
to trade and their wish to co-operate in the suppression 
of piracy. 

Whilst all was proceeding favourably in Borneo, 
Brooke was much disturbed by the news of the pro- 
ceedings of Mr Wise, his agent in London. There 
was no doubt of the talent and earnestness of this man, 
but those who knew him well felt that he was rather 
working for his own benefit than for that of his 
employer. He knew that a true account of the 
actual state of Sarawak would fail to draw the atten- 
tion of the mercantile community ; he therefore 
raised false expectations as to the value of the trade 
which would arise as soon as Borneo was thrown open 
to British commerce. When Brooke was made aware 
of this he wrote to his friend Templer, 'It does 
appear to me, judging from Mr Wise's letters and the 
steps he has taken, that some exaggerated hopes are 
entertained, and hopes as unreasonable as exaggerated. 
... In fact, I will become no party to a bubble ; or 
gain, or accept any negotiation from Government upon 
fiilse grounds' {sic). 

Brooke's views on the management of a wild country 
and the only way to develop commerce among 
savage, and even among half-civilised peoples, were 
so wise and trustworthy that they would merit being 
quoted in full did space permit. He was indeed a 
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RAJAH BROOKE 6i 

the manner in which native races should be treated, 
and he always insisted that progress to be permanent 
must be slow, and that throwing capital en masse into 
an undeveloped country would only produce disap- 
pointment and loss. 

How true is the following; ^Good temper, good 
sense and conciliatory manners are essential to the good 
government of natives, and on this point it is that most 
Europeans are so grossly wanting. They always take 
[with them] their own customs, feelings and manners, 
and in a way force the natives to conform to them, 
and never give themselves the trouble of ascertaining 
how far these manners are repugnant to the natives.* 
In my long experience I could scarcely name a dozen 
men whom I have seen treat native races as they 
should be treated, and most of these were among 
the devoted followers of Rajah Brooke. His own 
manners were perfect. 

One result of the defeat of the Seribas was the 
increased influence of the English ruler. Sherif Sahib 
of Sadong now thought it prudent to return to the 
Sow tribe of Dyaks fifty of the women and children 
whom his people had seized, and although this was but 
an instalment it was something gained. 

In a few lines written on November 14, 1843, 
Brooke sketched the policy which he wished the 
English Government to pursue. * If we act, we ought 
to act without unnecessary delay. Take Sarawak and 
Labuan, or Labuan alone, and push our interest along 



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62 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

the coast to Sulu, and from Sulu towards New Guinea, 
gaining an influence with such states (and. acquiring 
dormant rights) as are clear of the Dutch on the one 
hand and of the Spaniards on the other.' But this 
policy was neglected, and to some extent it is now too 
late to carry it out. 

In December 1843 Brooke again visited Singa- 
pore, and there he shortly afterwards received news 
of his mother's death. Though affectionate to all 
his relations, his love and tenderness centred in his 
mother, and her loss was the more acutely felt, as, 
from a mistaken feeling, the seriousness of her illness 
had not been reported to him. 

Whilst visiting Penang Brooke joined in an 
expedition to punish some piratical communities on 
the coast of Sumatra ; and as a guest on board 
H.M.S. Wanderer^ he went with the boats that were 
sent to attack the town of Murdoo. A strong current 
swept the captain's gig under an enemy's stockade. 
There was no help for it, so Brooke sprang out and led 
a rush upon the fort, during which he received a gash 
in the forehead and a shot in the arm. Reinforcements 
coming up, the place was soon captured. On the 
return of the expedition to Penang the ship's crew 
begged the captain's permission to man yards and give 
three cheers for their gallant guest. Here he met 
Captain Keppel on his way to Calcutta, who promised 
to pick him up at Singapore on his return and visit 
Sarawak again, and chastise the pirates of Sakarang. 



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RAJAH BROOKE 63 

Brooke therefore waited, but was again disappointed, 
as the Dido was ordered to China, and he had therefore 
to remain in the Straits until the end of May, when 
Captain Hastings gave him a passage over to Borneo 
in the Harlequin, 

This long absence had encouraged his enemies, who 
now hoped that they were free from their troublesome 
neighbour. Sherif Sahib, however, though boasting 
as loudly as ever, did not feel secure in Sadong, and 
therefore prepared his vessels to remove himself and 
all his immediate following to the interior of the 
Batang Lupar river, where he would be in touch 
with the other Arab adventurers who commanded 
the different districts of that mighty stream. As a 
defiance to Sarawak, he invited all the Sakarang 
Dyaks to meet him at the entrance of the Sadong 
river, and there they rendezvoused to the number 
of two hundred Dyak bangkongs and Malay war 
boats. Some mischief was done along the coast, 
but Brooke surprised one of their expeditions and 
captured several of their war vessels. 

During Brooke's absence from Sarawak, his new 
house on the left bank of the river had been built on a 
rising knoll between two running streams, with the 
broad river flowing below. It was a pretty spot, and 
now he could write, * I like couches, and flowers, and 
easy-chairs, and newspapers, and clear streams, and 
sunny walks.' Here and there were planted and 
tended with uncommon care some rose plants, the 



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64 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

Rajah's favourite flower. ' All breathes of peace and 
repose, and the very mid-day heat adds to the stillness 
around me. I love to allow my imagination to 
wander, and my senses to enjoy such a scene, for 
it is attended with a pleasing consciousness that the 
quiet and the peace are my own doing.' 

At length, however, the Dido came, accompanied 
by the Company's steamer Phlegethon^ and it was 
decided to begin operations by attacking the Arab 
sherifs in their strongholds on the Batang Lupar 
river. 

The Batang Lupar for the first twenty miles looks 
a noble stream. About that distance from the mouth 
occurs the Linga, the first branch of the river which 
leads to the Balow villages, inhabited by Dyaks under 
the influence of Sherif Jaffer — the same Dyaks who 
had joined Keppel's expedition against the Seribas 
pirates; they were warlike but not piraticaL The 
next branch on the left bank of the river was the 
Undup, and then on the right bank the Sakarang, a 
stream inhabited by a dense population of piratical 
Dyaks ; and about fifteen miles below the mouth of 
that branch was built the town of Patusin, strongly 
defended by forts and stockades. 

As the arrival of the Dido had been fully expected, 
the Sarawak preparations for the expedition were well 
advanced, and in view of Keppel's triumphs in the 
previous year, there was no holding back, but all were 
eager for the fray. Even Pangeran Budrudin was 



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RAJAH BROOKE 65 

permitted to join the Sarawak contingent — something 
quite new in the annals of the royal femily. 

On the 5th of August 1844 the expedition started, 
and on the 6th was well within the river Batang 
Lupar. By the 8th all was ready for the attack, and 
on the rising flood tide the steamer and boats were 
carried up stream at a bewildering pace, and soon 
found themselves in face of the town and forts of 
Patusin. The English boats formed up alongside of 
the steamer, and pulled to the shore under a very hot 
fire ; but nothing could daunt their crews, and they 
carried the forts by assault, with the loss of only one 
English sailor killed and a few wounded. Nor were 
the natives behindhand ; they vied with their white 
comrades, and were soon in full pursuit of the flying 
enemy. 

In the afternoon the force marched to the attack of 
a neighbouring town where the chief Sherif Sahib had 
his residence ; but there was no resistance, and the place 
was soon plundered and destroyed by our native allies. 
Amongst the spoil captured at Patusin were sixty-four 
brass guns and a smaller number of iron ones ; the 
latter were thrown into the river. Having completely 
destroyed these Malay pirate settlements, not for- 
getting that which had been formed by Pangeran 
Makota, and handed over to the natives those war 
boats which would be useful to them, while the re- 
mainder were hacked to pieces and burnt, the force 
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66 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

The attack on the Sakarangs was similar in its inci- 
dents to that on the Seribas. The river was staked, but 
nothing could stop the onset of the invaders. The town 
was taken without much opposition; but the greatest loss 
on the British side was incurred from the imprudence 
of a scouting party. Brave old Patingi Ali had been 
sent ahead to reconnoitre, when, probably urged on by 
a Mr Stewart, who had been concealed in his boat, he 
proceeded too far ; and when a large force rowed down 
the river to attack him, he found his retreat cut off 
by long rafts which had been pushed off from the 
banks and completely closed the river. He and his 
party were overwhelmed, and out of seventeen men 
only one escaped ; Mr Stewart was among the killed. 

Having completed their work. Captain Keppel and 
Brooke pulled back to Patusin, where they were 
joined by Sir Edward Belcher and the boats of the 
Samarang. They now all returned to Sarawak, but 
within a few days after their arrival the news came 
that the Arab chiefs and their followers were collecting 
at Banting on the Linga, the chief village of the 
Balow Dyaks, under the protection of Sherif Jaffer. 
The expedition immediately returned, and drove off the 
intruders ; and Pangeran Budrudin, in the name of the 
Bornean Government, deposed Sherif Jaffer, and so 
settled the country, under the advice of Brooke, that 
comparative peace reigned there for nearly five years. 

At this time it was calculated that Sarawak had 
received an increase of five thousand families, or, more 



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RAJAH BROOKE 67 

probably, individuals ; it was a genuine proof of the 
confidence of the people of the coast in the only spot 
where peace and security could be obtained, but it was 
also a sign of the terror inspired by the piratical fleets, 
and the general bad government of the districts under 
the rule of the native chiefs. 

The greatest service Sir Edward Belcher ever did 
for Sarawak was the removal of Muda Hassim to 
Brunei. He had been long anxious to leave, but he 
would not do so, except in state. So Sir Edward ar- 
ranged that not only the rajah and his immense family 
should be received on board the Company's steamer 
the Phlegethoriy but as many of his rascally followers 
as possible ; and then, with Brooke on board, the 
Samarang set sail for Brunei. The expedition was 
received with some suspicion, but ultimately Muda 
Hassim and the Sultan were to all appearance recon- 
ciled, and the former was restored to his position as 
prime minister. An offer was made by the Sultan 
to cede Labuan to England as a British settlement, 
and that offer was transmitted to the English Govern- 
ment. Labuan is an island off the mouth of the 
Brunei and neighbouring rivers, which appeared 
admirably adapted for a commercial and naval post, 
and the discovery of coal there settled the point. 

As soon as Muda Hassim had departed from 
Sarawak, and Brooke was left, de facto as well as de 
jure^ the only governor, confidence in his remaining in 
the country grew rapidly, and trade improved. But 



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68 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

the negotiations which his friends were carrying on 
with the British Government moved slowly and drew 
forth some impatient remarks from him. Henceforth 
I may occasionally call him the Rajah, par excellence^ 
as he now was in truth the only rajah in Sarawak. 

Hearing that some members of Sir Robert PeePs 
Government had stated that they did not under- 
stand Brooke's intentions, the Rajah wrote rather 
indignantly — ^December 31, 1844. • • • I am sur- 
prised, however, that they say they do not under- 
stand my intentions. Independently of my published 
letter, I thought they had had my intentions 
and wishes dinned into them. My intention, my 
wish, is to develop the island of Borneo. How to 
develop Borneo is not for me to say, but for them to 
judge. I have, both by precept and example, shown 
what can be done ; but it is for the Government to 
judge what means, if any, they will place at my disposal. 
My intention, my wish, is to extirpate piracy by attack- 
ing and breaking up the pirate towns ; not only pirates 
direct, but pirates indirect. Here again the Government 
must judge. I wish to correct the native character, to 
gain and hold an influence in Borneo proper, to intro- 
duce gradually a better system of government, to open 
the interior, to encourage the poorer natives, to remove 
the clogs on trade, to develop new sources of commerce. 
I wish to make Borneo a second Java. I intend to 
influence and amend the entire Archipelago, if the 
Government will a£Ford me means and power. I wish 



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RAJAH BROOKE 69 

to prevent any foreign nation coming on this field ; 
but I might as well war against France individually, 
as to attempt all I wish without any means.* 

Was this policy not clear enough ? Had it been 
followed, the independent portion of the Eastern 
Archipelago would have been completely under our 
influence, and would have ended by becoming prac- 
tically ours. We should have had New Guinea and 
the islands adjacent, and thus given the Australians a 
free hand to develop what certainly should be con- 
sidered as within their sphere of influence. How the 
English Rajah's policy was wrecked, I must explain 
later on; at this time (1845) all seemed advancing 
to its fulfilment. 

In the meantime the British Government were 
acting in their usual cautious, half-hearted way. 
They did not really care a rush about Borneo or the 
Eastern Archipelago, and I have no doubt that the 
subordinate members of the Government offices looked 
with disgust on those who were urging them to in- 
tervene in Borneo. They hated any new thing, as it 
forced them to study and find out what it was all about. 
But as they could not stand still, they sent out Captain 
Bethune to inquire. He arrived in February, in 
H.M.S. Driver^ and brought with him the temporary 
appointment of Brooke as Her Majesty's confidential 
agent. This was a distinct advance, as he had now 
to proceed to the capital to deliver officially a letter 
from the Queen to the Sultan and the Government 



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70 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

of Brunei. With Captain Bethune came Mr Wise, 
the Rajah's agent in England. 

In Brunei they did not find Muda Hassim's Govern- 
ment very firmly established, as they were threatened 
not only by Pangeran Usop, a connection of the 
Sultan's and a pretender to the throne, but by the 
pirates of the north, with whom Usop was in league. 
During their stay in Brunei, both Brooke and Captain 
Bethune examined the coal seams near the capital, 
but they do not appear to have been considered work- 
able, as no one has ever attempted to open a mine 
there. The quality of the coal has been pronounced 
good, and as the seams crop out of rather lofty hills 
it cannot be considered as surface coal. 



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CHAPTER IV 

SIR THOMAS COCHRANE IN BRUNEI ATTACK ON 

SHERIF OSMAN MUDA HASSIM IN POWER 

LINGIRE's attempt to take RAJAH BROOKE's 
HEAD — MASSACRE OF MUDA HASSIM AND BUD- 

RUDIN — THE ADMIRAL PROCEEDS TO BRUNEI 

TREATY WITH BRUNEI ACTION WITH PIRATE 

SQUADRON — RAJAH BROOKE IN ENGLAND — IS 
KNIGHTED ON HIS RETURN TO THE EAST — VISITS 
THE SULU ISLANDS — EXPEDITION AGAINST SERIBAS 
PIRATES 

Hearing that Admiral Sir Thomas Cochrane was 
expected in Singapore, the English Rajah determined 
to proceed there to explain to him the true position 
of affairs on the north-west coast of Borneo. He 
found the admiral ready to take measures to suppress 
piracy, and the Rajah left with the impression that 
he would act against the great pirate chief, Sherif 
Osman. In the meantime, he returned himself to 
Brunei in the Phlegethon to find his Bornean friends 
• very despondent. However, in August the admiral 
appeared, and at the invitation of the Sultan attacked 
Pangeran Usop for holding two British subjects in 

71 



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72 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

slavery. This noble and his followers fled to the 
hills. Sir Thomas then proceeded to Marudu Bay 
to chastise Sherif Osman, the most notorious pirate 
chief in the Archipelago. His place of residence, up a 
narrow river, was carefully fortified with an extra strong 
boom across the stream. A very powerful expedition 
was sent up from the fleet. In attempting to force 
their way through the well-prepared obstructions our 
men were exposed to a murderous fire from the forts, 
and we lost heavily j but the town was taken and 
burnt. I visited the place afterwards, and was some- 
what surprised that a detachment was not landed below 
the boom and the position turned ; but we always 
like to take the bull by the horns. The pirates 
suffered severely. Sherif Osman was mortally wounded 
and died shortly afterwards, and Marudu ceased for 
a time to be a pirate rendezvous. 

Returning to Brunei with the good news, Brooke 
was delighted to hear that his friend Budrudin had 
defeated Usop, who, with a force from the hills, had 
come down to surprise the town, and had driven 
him away fi-om the neighbourhood of the capital. 
He was some time afterwards taken at a place called 
Kimanis, and by order of the Sultan was strangled 
with all the formalities due to a person who had 
royal blood in his veins. Thus Muda Hassim's power 
appeared securely established. His enemies without 
and within had been defeated, and his warlike brother, 
Lanun, on the mother's side — which accounted for 



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RAJAH BROOKE 73 

his unusual daring — was at the head of a strong 
party. The English Rajah felt that they were com- 
paratively safe ; yet he had his secret misgivings, and 
tried in vain to persuade the admiral to station a brig 
on the coast. 

Captain Bethune now returned to England to make 
his report to the British Government, and Brooke 
was left to a welcome repose — doubly welcome after 
all the exertions of the previous months. 

It was during the summer of this year that a very 
curious episode occurred. Whilst the Rajah was at 
dinner with his English followers in the new house 
to which I have already referred, and which had been 
constructed some distance below the Malay town, 
Lingire, the well-known pirate chief, walked into 
the dining -hall, followed by a large party of his 
warriors. As they were all fully armed, the Rajah 
saw at once that mischief was meant. He received 
the chief most courteously. A chair was given him, 
and all the other Dyaks squatted down on the floor 
round the table. Cigars were handed round, and 
then the Rajah asked what was the news. Lingire 
answered that they had just pulled up the river to 
pay him a visit. 

The Rajah called up a very intelligent native 
servant and said to him in English, ^ Bring me ajiother 
bottle of sherry,' and then added in a careless voice, 
'Let the Malay chiefs know who are here.' The 
servant duly brought in the wine and then retired. 



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74 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

Whilst the Seribas chief was drinking his sherry, the 
Rajah exerted himself to the utmost to entertain 
him — told him story after story, got the Dyak to 
relate instances of his own prowess. His vanity was 
so tickled that, forgetting the object of his visit, he 
dilated on his forays into the Dutch territories, where 
he had surprised the Chinese settlers. 'They won't 
fight, those cowards,' he said. 'They run away 
from an armed man, or drop on their knees and beg 
for mercy.' The Rajah encouraged him to continue, 
but time and the Datus moved slowly, and he could 
see the Dyaks exchanging glances, as if to say the 
moment had arrived for action. In another minute 
they would have been on their feet and the unarmed 
Englishmen slain, when footsteps were heard on the 
gravel walk. Lingire looked anxious as the powerful 
form of the Datu Patingi appeared in the verandah, 
which was soon crowded with armed Malays. The 
Datu Tumangong soon followed, and the Dyaks were 
surrounded. They did not move — a move would 
have sealed their fate. The Datus threatened and 
scolded them to their hearts' content,, asked how 
they had dared to enter the Rajah's house with arms 
in their hands, and had not the white chief interfered 
the Malays would have executed summary justice on 
the rascals. 

The Rajah then spoke. He said he knew very 
well that Lingire had come to surprise them, but 
he would not have it said that anyone who came 



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RAJAH BROOKE 75 

to his country should be in fear of death, however 
much he merited it, that he would forgive him, and 
he might go. At a sign from the Rajah the Malays 
opened their serried ranks, and Lingire and his followers 
crept out like whipped curs and disappeared from the 
river. Years afterj I saw Lingire sitting on a chair 
beside the Rajah, but I do not think he ever con- 
fessed to us that his design had been to kill the white 
men, though it was well known that he came for no 
other purpose. He had, in fact, boasted that he 
would take the Rajah's head and hang it up in a 
basket which he had already prepared and 'placed in 
a tree near his village. Had he attacked the Rajah 
the moment he entered the room nothing could have 
saved the Englishmen, as they were quite defenceless ; 
and he could have done it with impunity, as no Malay 
war boat could have overtaken a Dyak bangkong. 
This is but a specimen of the Rajah's marvellous 
escapes. I had the above account from his cousin, 
Arthur Crookshank. 

The year 1846 opened satisfactorily. The attack 
on the pirate haunts at Marudu, the punishment and 
the subsequent death of Pangeran Usop, rendered 
the position ,of Muda Hassim stronger, and the strict 
watch kept on the Seribas and Sakarangs during 1845 
had prevented any marauding on their part. Whilst 
peace appeared now to be established both at home 
and abroad, the Rajah was again troubled by the 
action of his agent Wise. This clever but unscrupulous 



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76 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

man kept writing that he would make Brooke the 
richest commoner in England if he would give him 
a free hand ; and, in fact, without waiting for any per- 
mission, he began to project large associations which 
were to take over the country of Sarawak and rival 
the old East India Company in wealth and power. 
When Brooke understood what his agent was doing, 
he wrote that he would be no party to such schemes, 
and that he would not surrender Sarawak to the 
tender mercies of a mercantile association. 

I first made the acquaintance of Mr Wise in 1846, 
and I well remember how lavish he was in the praise 
of Brooke, and what hopes he entertained of the 
success of an all-absorbing company. But as time 
passed his enthusiasm for his friend and employer 
gradually lessened, till the result was an open rupture. 
To this I must refer hereafter. 

1 846, which opened under the finest auspices, soon 
however changed its aspect. News came of maraud- 
ing on the part of the Sakarang Dyaks ; but this 
was trifling to what followed. H.M.S. Haiuirdy 
Commander Egerton, had been sent by the admiral 
to Brunei to communicate with Rajah Muda Hassim. 
As soon as the ship anchored at the mouth of the 
Brunei river, a native hurried on board, and by signs 
made the officers understand that some great calamity 
had occurred at the capital, while he appeared to warn 
Egerton not to proceed up the river. Fortunately his 
warning was attended to ; and as he kept repeating in 



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RAJAH BROOKE 77 

Malay, 'Tuan Brooke* and * Sarawak,' the Hazard 
weighed anchor and proceeded to that place. The 
Malay brought serious news indeed. The Sultan had 
ordered the murder of Muda Hassim, Budrudin and 
the rest of the legitimate royal family, and had 
succeeded in destroying the most important chiefs. 
These were his own uncles and cousins, 

A conspiracy seems to have been hatched among 
the Sultan's followers, who were the friends and 
associates of the late Pangeran Usop, to kill Muda 
Hassim and his family, not only for the sake of 
revenge, but to prevent them gaining a preponderat- 
ing influence in the country. Already the people 
were looking to them as the rising power, and the 
Sultan's prestige was visibly declining. Besides, with 
their increasing influence they were acquiring too 
many of the profits which used to accrue to the Sultan's 
entourage. As the representatives of the party which 
preferred the old methods of government, the latter 
disliked the alliance which was springing up between 
this branch of the royal family and the Rajah of 
Sarawak, as the representative of the English, and 
therefore they found no difficulty in persuading the 
half-imbecile Sultan that his immediate deposition 
was meditated. He therefore gave the order that 
Muda Hassim and his family should be attacked and 
killed. Though warned that some conspiracy was 
brewing, they took no heed, lulled 'in fancied security, 
and were easily surprised. Muda Hassim defended his 



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78 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

home with a few followers, but finding that they 
would soon be overpowered, shot himself so as not 
to fall into the hands of his enemies. 

Pangeran Budrudin was attacked at the same time. 
Brooke wrote to Keppel, on April 5th 1846, * After 
fighting desperately and cutting down several of the 
Sultan's hired assassins, he was shot in his left wrist, 
his shoulder and chest were cut open so as to disable 
his right arm. A woman, by name Nur Salum, fought 
and was wounded by his side. His sister and a slave 
boy called Jaffir, though both wounded, remained by 
him, the rest of his few followers having been cut 
down or having fled. The four retired into the house 
and barred the door. Budrudin, wounded and bleeding, 
ordered the boy to get down a cask of powder, break 
in the head and scatter it in a small circle. He then 
told Jaffir to escape, gave him my signet ring, of 
which I had made him a present, and told him to 
beg me not to forget him and to tell the Queen of 
England of his fate. He then called the women to 
him, and when the boy had dropped through the 
flooring into the water, fired the powder, and all three 
were blown into the air.' No hero could have died 
more nobly, and what fine creatures must those 
women have been ! 

No natives ever appear to consider or to care for 
the consequences of their acts until the acts are done. 
They are blinded by their hate ; but no sooner had 
the conspirators murdered the principal members of 



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RAJAH BROOKE 79 

the royal family than they began to tremble for the 
future. They knew the friendship which united 
the English Rajah to Pangeran Budrudin, and began 
to reflect that he would spare no pains to punish them. 
With the death of this brave pangeran all hopes of 
regenerating the Government of Brunei vanished. 

At that time we had in the East an admiral who 
dared to act — Sir Thomas Cochrane. When he heard 
of the massacre he determined to proceed to Brunei 
to inquire what was the meaning of these violent 
measures. He rightly argued that the massacre did 
not directly concern England, unless the Sultan was 
about to repudiate all his engagements with us. On 
his way he called in at Sarawak to see Brooke, and 
to ask him, as the British Government's confidential 
agent, to accompany the expedition. 

The squadron arrived off the Brunei river on the 
6th June, and Sir Thomas immediately sent a message 
to the Sultan, saying he was about to visit the capital 
and desired an interview with His Highness. Some 
messengers of inferior rank brought down the reply 
that the admiral might ascend the river in two small 
boats. No notice was taken of this restriction, and 
the steamers, with the smaller vessels in tow, and 
accompanied by the boats of the squadron, began to 
ascend the river. As they neared the capital they were 
received with volleys from every battery j but the 
marines and blue-jackets were soon on shore, and 
the defenders fled in haste. On entering the central 



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8o BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

canal of Brunei, a battery at the Sultan's Palace 
opened fire, which did considerable damage to the 
Phlegethon. There was no serious resistance, however, 
and when the force took possession of the town they 
found it completely deserted. The Sultan escaped 
to the interior, and the party sent to capture him 
naturally failed in their object. 

A provisional government was established under 
Pangeran Mumein, a respectable noble, not of royal 
descent, and Pangeran Mahomed, a brother of Muda 
Hassim, but not of much intelligence ; then a pro- 
clamation was issued, saying that the Sultan might 
return to his capital if he were prepared to fulfil 
his engagements. 

Nothing ever raised the prestige of the English 
so much as the capture of Brunei. As a military feat 
of arms it was of no importance, but to the tribes 
of the interior it was looked upon as a marvel of 
heroism. They naturally thought Brunei to be the 
only great power on earth, so that when they heard 
that the English had taken their capital, they rejoiced 
that their oppressors had received such a lesson. 
Cautiously looking around to see that no Malay was 
present, they would laughingly tell how they had 
seen the Sultan and his nobles flying through the 
jungle with the English at their heels, and ask 
why having once taken the country we did not keep 
it. These or similar inquiries were made wherever 
I travelled in the interior. 



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RAJAH BROOKE 8i 

Sir Thomas Cochrane, having seen the establish- 
ment of the provisional government, sailed for China ; 
but during his passage up the north-west coast of 
Borneo destroyed several pirate communities, and, 
leaving Captain Mundy of H.M.S. Iris to complete 
the work, proceeded to Hong Kong. 

When Brooke returned to Sarawak he was indeed 
received as the * Conquering Hero.' The Malays 
there were very much like the tribes of the interior, 
thoroughly imbued with the idea that the Sultan of 
Brunei was a great monarch, second to none ; and 
therefore the news that the capital had been taken 
and that the Sultan had fled to the woods was a 
complete surprise ; but the surprise was only equalled 
by the pleasure it gave, as the Brunei Government 
was unpopular to the last degree, indeed hated for 
its oppression. 

While in Brunei Brooke collected those of the 
families of Muda Hassim and his brothers who 
wished to be removed from the capital, and brought 
them down to Sarawak, where for years they were 
supported by him. 

1846 closed, as it had begun, with every sign of 
prosperity. There was peace in all the neighbouring 
districts, and the native trade on the coast was 
considered to be very flourishing. Kuching, the 
capital of Sarawak, was continually increasing, as the 
natives removed to it from the less secure rivers, and 
there was every hope that the British Government 



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82 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

would now really make an effort to develop the 
coast. They had decided to occupy the island of 
Labuan and establish a commercial settlement there, 
and this, it was expected, would lead to a more for- 
ward policy. 

Having received instructions from Her Majesty's 
Government, Brooke, in May 1847, proceeded to 
Brunei to negotiate a treaty with the Sultan, which 
should not only regulate the trade relations between 
the two countries, but should contain a clause declaring 
that British subjects committing offences within His 
Highness's dominions might only be tried by Her 
Majesty's representative. The treaty was signed, and 
then Brookeleft on board the Company's steamer JVi?mmj, 
Captain Wallace, who was on his way to Singapore. 
When they arrived near the mouth of the Brunei river 
they were hailed by a native prahu and were informed 
that a Balignini pirate squadron was outside, capturing 
fishing and trading boats. As soon as the Nemesis 
rounded the sandy point of the island of Muara they 
saw eleven Balignini prahus in full chase of a native vessel, 
but as soon as the steamer appeared the pirates turned 
towards the shore, and finding escape hopeless, pulled 
into a shallow bay, anchored their vessels, bows seaward, 
and all kept in position by hawsers connecting the 
prahus to each other. The steamer arrived, when 
the pirates immediately opened fire on her, and after 
rather a prolonged action they cut their cables. Some 
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RAJAH BROOKE 83 

while the remainder were deserted by their crews. 
It is needless to enter into details, but it may be 
mentioned that in all the vessels taken were found 
crowds of captives, principally from the Dutch 
possessions. None of the prahus made the Balignini 
Islands, as the three that escaped the steamer were so 
riddled with shot that the crews had to take to their 
boats, and after a painful voyage at last reached home. 
The pirates of the eight other prahus were forced to 
seek refuge on shore, and after committing some 
murders and other excesses, were surrounded, and 
then they surrendered to the Sultan, who had them 
all put to death. 

Peace being established along the north-west 
coast by the energetic action of Sir Thomas Cochrane 
and the wise policy of Brooke, the latter decided to 
visit England after an absence of nearly nine years. 
He knew that the action with the Balignini would 
deter those pirates from visiting the coast for some 
time ; he was satisfied that the Brunei Government 
could do no mischief; the Dyak pirates were still 
under the influence of the punishment they had 
received, and Sarawak was prosperous and safe. So 
leaving his cousin, Arthur Crookshank, in charge, 
he started for England, where he was sure to 
be well received, as Captain Keppel's successful 
Voyage of the Dido had made the ruler of Sarawak 
well known to all Englishmen. 

After a tedious voyage Brooke landed in England 



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84 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

on October 2nd, and was soon surrounded by friends 
and relations. The Queen received him at Windsor 
Castle, and he was so feted by all that he had 
but little time left to transact business. Brooke 
could not but feel that his countrymen fully appre- 
ciated the services he had rendered to England. He 
was presented with the freedom of the City of London, 
many clubs elected him a member by special vote, 
Oxford honoured him with her distinctions. The 
undergraduates went wild with enthusiasm at the 
mention of his name, for he was pre-eminently a leader 
to create that feeling among young men. He made 
friendships, which were lifelong, with Earl Grey and 
the Earl of EUesmere. 

Mr Wise gave him a grand dinner, and there 
delivered a speech which was an unqualified eulogium on 
his employer ; it was not only eulogistic, it was fulsome 
in his praise. I remember well all the circumstances, 
and they are important ; they impressed themselves 
deeply in my mind. My father, who was present at 
this dinner, when he came home, said to me, 'I 
cannot understand Wise. He has just made a speech 
in which he has declared that Brooke is one of 
the greatest and best of men, whilst privately he tells 
me he is a robber and a murderer.' On my father 
asking for an explanation, Mr Wise excused himself, 
saying that it was the necessity of his position which 
forced him to dissemble. 

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RAJAH BROOKE 85 

Commissioner and Consul-General, was now called 
upon to accept the position of Governor of the new 
settlement of Labuan, and was placed at the head of 
an efficient staflF. I was appointed secretary to the 
Rajah, as Commissioner, and was thus brought into 
the closest relations to him. We were all ordered to 
hold ourselves in readiness to proceed to Borneo in 
H.M.'s frigate Meander^ Captain Keppel, on the 
1st February 1848. 

How high were our hopes when we sailed from 
Portsmouth ! They nearly made us forget the dis- 
comforts of our position on board — discomforts almost 
inseparable from an attempt to turn a ship of war 
into a passenger vessel. Our progress appeared to 
us slow, first from very stormy weather, and then 
from incessant calms. 

The Meander^ though of forty-four guns, was but 
a second-rate frigate ; she had, however, a picked crew, 
whom the fame of her captain had induced to join ; 
she was fitted with special boats for river service, as 
she was intended to act against the pirate com- 
munities. I need not dwell on the details of this 
voyage, but I must introduce an anecdote related by 
Sir Hugh Low of his great chief. ' No circumstances, 
however unexpected, flurried him. ... I was once a 
passenger with him in a large man-of-war. His 
cabin was on the port side of the vessel, and he was 
sitting in an arm-chair which leant against the bulk- 
head. I was stretched on a locker on the opposite 



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86 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

side of the cabin, and there being a fresh breeze the 
ship was heeling over to starboard, when we felt 
a sudden increase in the lurch, which threw me 
headlong against the lee bulkhead, the Rajah's chair 
being tilted up so that his feet were in the air. 
I attempted to crawl towards the door, when the 
Rajah, who had been reading, asked me where I was 
going. I said, " I am going to see what is the 
matter; the vessel is capsizing." He replied, "You 
have nothing to do with it ; you are only a passenger. 
Stay where you are." The danger was averted by 
the promptness of the carpenter, who with one stroke 
of his sharp axe severed the main brace, and the vessel 
immediately righted itself.' 

We were all glad to reach Singapore, for aU 
though the officers did their utmost to make us 
comfortable, it was not possible that much success 
could attend their efforts. I daresay they were as 
pleased to see us land as we were to find ourselves 
on shore. One thing I may mention, however ; the 
gun-room officers pressed me to remain with them 
instead of facing the expense and discomforts of a 
Singapore hotel ; but I could not avail myself of their 
kindness as I had my secretary's duties to perform. 

About three weeks after our arrival, the surveyor, 
the late Mr Scott, afterwards Sir John Scott, and 
Captain Hoskins, harbour-master, were sent ahead to 
prepare the necessary buildings for the officers that 
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RAJAH BROOKE 87 

of these gentlemen knew anything about tropical 
countries, nor even the language of Borneo, and 
fixed the site of the settlement on a grassy plain, that 
turned into a swamp as soon as the rainy season 
commenced. Had the Lieutenant-Governor, Mr 
Napier, been sent ahead, or had Mr Low (now Sir 
Hugh Low), the Colonial Secretary, accompanied the 
advance party, their special knowledge of the Tropics 
would have saved us the consequences of this 
disastrous error. After a long and apparently un- 
necessary delay of three months and a half at Singa- 
pore, we sailed in the Meander for Sarawak. Before 
our departure, however, news arrived that Her Majesty 
had been pleased to name Mr Brooke a K.C.B., and 
he was duly installed before we left that British 
settlement. 

On September 4, 1848, the Meander anchored 
off the Muaratabas entrance of the Sarawak river, 
and the reception accorded to their Rajah by the 
native inhabitants made a deep impression, not only 
on me, but on all who witnessed it. The whole 
population turned out to meet him, and the river, 
as far as the eye could reach, was thronged with 
boats. Everything that could float was put into 
requisition — the trading vessels, the war boats carry- 
ing their crews of a hundred, a few unwieldy Chinese 
junks, and every canoe in the capital. All were 
gaily dressed, and the chiefs crowded on board the 
frigate. At i p.m. we left under a royal salute. 



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88 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

with yards manned and hearty cheers from the crew, 
and started for a six hours' pull to the capital. We 
arrived after sunset and found every house brilliantly 
illuminated. The Rajah's reception at Government 
House, where all the English were assembled, was 
naturally very hearty, and soon the whole place was 
crowded with natives. 

Finding that during his absence the piratical tribes 
had recommenced their raids on the neighbouring 
towns, the Rajah thought of forming a league of the 
well-disposed districts, and therefore introduced a 
flag, which was not only a Sarawak flag, but might 
be used by any member of the league. This flag was 
hoisted, with great ceremony, on the staff in front of 
the Government House, and it is now used along the 
whole coast as far as, and in a place or two beyond, 
the Sultan's capital. 

About this time a mission, under the auspices of the 
Church of England, was established in Sarawak, and 
great hopes were entertained of its success. 

I may as well mention who were the members of 
the Rajah's staflF. While we were at Kuching, his 
nephew, Captain Brooke of the 88th, joined him as 
A.D.C., but as he was to be the Rajah's heir in 
Sarawak it was thought he would soon retire from 
the army ; then Arthur Crookshank, who had hitherto 
represented him in Borneo ; Charles Grant, his private 
secretary ; Brereton, at that moment unattached ; and 
myself, secretary to the Commissioner. 



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RAJAH BROOKE 89 

In the first days of October we embarked on board 
the Meander and sailed for Labuan, where we arrived 
on the 7th. Labuan lies, as I have stated, oiF a 
large bay, into which flow the Brunei, the Limbang, 
the Trusan, and many other rivers, and seemed well 
adapted for a commercial and naval station. It has 
a fine harbour and plenty of coal, and as we arrived 
on a bright day, the place looked very attractive. 
A broad grassy plain, which skirted the harbour, was 
about three quarters of a mile deep, then it met the 
low hills and thick jungle. Our houses had all been 
constructed near the sea, with the plain behind us, 
and their neat appearance, although only of native 
materials, quite delighted us. Keppel soon sailed to 
tow down to Singapore H.M.S. Royalist^ which had 
been dismasted by a sudden squall, and we were left 
to the care of a few marines and blue-jackets. 

The south-west monsoon was now blowing 
fiercely, and brought up with it heavy clouds and 
drenching rain, and our plain speedily became a fetid 
swamp, which laid many low with fever and ague. 
In an interval of fine weather we proceeded to 
Brunei in the yolly Bachelor^ a vessel belonging to 
the Rajah, but manned by blue-jackets, the steam 
tender Ranee and some other boats, to ratify our 
treaty with the Sultan, and found prepared for us a 
long, low shed of a house, in which we all took up our 
quarters. Brunei was in truth a Venice of hovels, or 
rather huts, perched on posts driven into the mud 



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banks found in the broad river. Everything looked 
as though it were falling to decay — the palace, the 
mosque, the houses of the pangerans, in fact, the 
whole city of perhaps 20,000 inhabitants. 

The wretched Sultan was even then suflFering from 
a disease — cancer on the lip — which carried him oflF a 
few years subsequently. He was a mean-looking 
creature, and his previous atrocities had earned for 
him the description, *the head of an idiot and the 
heart of a pirate.' After finishing our business we 
returned to Labuan. 

I never spent such a wretched month as that of 
November 1848. After a short respite the south- 
west monsoon began to blow again, the rain fell in 
torrents, the sea was driven up to such a height that 
the waves washed under all our houses, which were 
built on piles, and destroyed many of our stores. 
The Rajah's English servant attributed the diminu- 
tion of the wine and brandy to the same cause. 
Fever was soon upon us. First the marines and blue- 
jackets fell ill and many died ; then all our Chinese 
workmen and Kling servants ; then Sir James Brooke, 
the Lieutenant-Governor, the Colonial Secretary, the 
Colonial Doctor, Captain Brooke, Mr Grant, and 
many others were down with this weakening disease. 
The only ones to escape were Mr Scott and myself. 
Admiral Collier arrived during this period, and fled, 
panic-stricken, from the place, and ever after did all in 
his power to injure the colony, and certainly did what 



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RAJAH BROOKE 91 

he could to keep Her Majesty's vessels away, though 
those on board ship scarcely ever suffered. There was 
gloom in every house ; even the Chinese would not stay, 
and went over to establish themselves in the capital. 

Fortunately the barracks for the Madras garrison 
had been built on the swelling ground at the back of 
the plain, and to this place the Governor sent all those 
he could. While there they quickly recovered, and 
it was decided to have fresh houses built for the whole 
staffs near the military quarters. 

At the end of November the weather began to 
improve, as the north-east monsoon made itself felt, 
and the Meander fortunately arrived, and Keppel 
insisting, Sir James and some of his staff" were em- 
barked on board, and we sailed along the north-west 
coast on the way to Balambangan Island, where an 
English vessel had been wrecked. Finding her burnt 
to the water's edge. Sir James decided to proceed to 
Sulu and visit the Sultan. 

At Sugh, the capital, we found both coolness and 
hesitation. Some Dutch vessels had lately bombarded 
the town, and the Sultan had not forgotten our 
attack on Sherif Osman of Marudu Bay. This chief 
had married a relative of his, and his death after the 
engagement with the English was still remembered. 
Besides, there were some survivors and many relatives 
of those killed in the engagement in May 1847, 
against whom it was necessary to take every precaution. 

Whatever was the motive, the Sultan got over his 



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92 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

soreness of heart, and determined to see the great 
white chief whose fame had long since reached his 
ears. He and the people were soon assured that the 
English had no hostile intentions, and shortly after 
our arrival a reception was arranged. 

The Sulu Islands were claimed by the Spaniards, 
but they had never made good their claim, for 
although they had sent several expeditions against 
the Sultan, which were followed by treaties, these 
were seldom observed by either side. The islands 
themselves are as beautiful as, perhaps more beautiful 
than, any others I have ever seen, well cultivated and 
producing all the food the natives required, but 
their commerce appeared very limited. They were 
the principal rendezvous of the Balignini and Lanun 
pirates, and consequently a slave emporium. The 
products of the sea, such as pearls and mother-of- 
pearl — beche de mer — so prized by the Chinese, were 
the most valued articles of trade, a large portion of 
which, however, came from the islands further east. 
The proceeds of the plunder sold by»the pirates were 
too often invested in guns and powder. 

Sulu is nominally governed by a Sultan and a 
council of nobles, who, however, possess but limited 
authority over the population of the thousand and 
one isles. 

The Sultan and his nobles received us in such state 
as they could manage in a hurry, since after the late 
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RAJAH BROOKE 93 

been sent to the mountains. Their reception of the 
English envoy was most kind. As Sir James did not 
wish to introduce business during this visit, our inter- 
course was purely formal, and after mutual inquiries 
as to the state of our health, and a curious reference 
made by the Sultan to the recent revolution in France, 
we took our leave. The Sultan was a young man, 
pale and emaciated, the result, it was said, of too 
much indulgence in opium. 

The Meander soon sailed from Sulu, and after 
calling at Samboangan, the Spanish penal settlement 
in the island of Mindanau, we returned to our colony 
of Labuan, where we were pleased to find that all the 
ofEcers were well, and that they had removed from 
the swampy plain to the higher land behind it. There 
was, however, but little progress visible, as the fever 
panic still prevailed. We did not stay long here, as 
the Rajah was anxious to begin operations against 
the Seribas and Sakarang pirates, who had again com- 
menced to ravage the coast. We reached Sarawak 
on the 1 6th February. A daring attack of the Seribas 
Dyaks on the Sadong district, when they captured 
over a hundred heads, made us move out with our 
native fleet to pursue them, but a return of the 
north-east monsoon drove us to shelter. Later on, 
accompanied by the boats of the steamer Nemesis^ we 
destroyed some of their inland villages, and thus kept 
them quiet for a time. 

To crush these pirates, however, we required a 



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94 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

stronger force, and had to wait for the arrival of one 
of Her Majesty's ships. In the meantime, in order 
to save the independence of Sulu, threatened both by 
the Dutch and the Spaniards, Sir James determined 
to proceed there in the steamer Nemesis and negotiate 
a treaty. After calling in at Labuan, we continued 
our course to the Sulu seas. We were received by 
the Sultan and nobles in the most friendly manner, 
and Sir James had no difficulty in negotiating a treaty 
which, had it been ratified and supported, would 
have effectually preserved the independence of the 
Sultan. Our intercourse with these people was most 
interesting. Preceded by his fame. Sir James soon 
made himself trusted by the brave islanders, and 
one proof was that the Sultan asked him to visit him 
in a small cottage, where he was then staying with a 
young bride. I was among those who accompanied 
our Rajah, and on the darkest of dark nights we 
groped our way there. The Sultan was almost 
alone, and he soon began to converse about his 
troublesome neighbours, the Dutch and the Spaniards, 
expressing a strong hope that the English would 
support him. 

Sir James explained to him our position in Labuan, 
and cordially invited his people to come and trade there, 
assuring him that the English had no designs on the 
independence of their neighbours, but that they only 
wanted peace and the cessation of piracy. One or two 
nobles dropped in, and the conversation turned on 



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RAJAH BROOKE 95 

the subject of hunting, and our hosts proved them- 
selves eager sportsmen, and invited us to return when 
the rice crop was over and they would show us how 
they hunted the deer, both on horseback and on foot. 
The Sultan, during the evening, took a few whifis of 
opium, whilst the rest of the company smoked tobacco 
in various forms. The women were not rigidly ex- 
cluded, as they came and looked at us whenever 
they pleased ; but we could not see much of them, 
and it is a form of politeness to pretend not to notice 
their presence. After a very enjoyable evening, we 
bade farewell to the Sultan, as we were to sail the 
following day. 

Sir James Brooke had intended to return there, 
establish himself on shore for a month, and join the 
nobles in their sports, and thus acquire a personal 
influence over them. He thought he could wean 
them from intercourse with the pirates and turn them 
into honest traders. It must be confessed that when 
we were there we had abundant evidence that the 
Balignini and Lanun pirates did frequent the port to 
sell their slaves and booty and lay in a stock of 
arms and ammunition. Sir James was, however, 
persuaded that if British war steamers showed them- 
selves every now and then in Sulu waters, the pirates 
would abandon these seas. The moment was pro- 
pitious ; the Spaniards had just destroyed the haunts 
of Balignini, capturing many and dispersing the rest. 
The sanguinary defeat of eleven of their vessels in 



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96 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

1847, by the Nemesis^ was not forgotten, and it 
required but a little steady patrolling to disgust the 
nobles with this pursuit ; in fact, many had sold their 
war vessels and guns, saying, that now the English 
steamers were after them, it was no longer the 
profession of a gentleman. I never met natives who 
pleased me more ; the young chiefs were frank, manly 
fellows, fond of riding and hunting, and our inter- 
course with them was very pleasant. It was always 
a matter of regret with me that I never had an 
opportunity of visiting them again. 

Leaving Sulu, we called in at Samboangan, and 
had a very agreeable time with the acquaintances we 
had previously made there. We saw how little the 
Spaniards had done to develop the immense island of 
Mindanau. Here and there on the coast were some 
small settlements, with cultivation extending but a 
few miles inland, but there was a great air of neatness 
about the places dotted along the coast. 

On our return voyage we touched at Labuan, and 
then went on • to Sarawak, where we .found H.M.*s 
brig Albatrossy Commander Farquhar, and the Royalisty 
Lieutenant-Commander Everest. The Nemesis pro- 
ceeded on to Singapore, but soon rejoined us. 

The expedition which was now organised was the 
largest that ever left the non-piratical districts for the 
punishment of the marauders. Besides the steamer 
Nemesis^ we had the boats of the Albatross and 
Royalisty and about one hundred native prahus. 



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RAJAH BROOKE 97 

manned by between three and four thousand men. I 
have in another work so fully described this expedi- 
tion that I will not give a fresh account, but content 
myself with a summary of our proceedings. As a 
turning point in the history of the coast it will ever 
be remembered, not only as the greatest blow that 
was ever struck at Dyak piracy, and practically its 
destruction, but also because it led to the great 
misfortune that Sir James Brooke considered it 
necessary to retire from the public service, a step 
which was forced upon him by the weakness of 
Lord Aberdeen's Government and the malice of 
his enemies. 

On the 24th July 1849 ^^^ Nemesis started with 
the Roy alt sty the Ranee tender, and seven English 
boats in tow, and we followed in the evening with 
our powerful native contingent. The campaign, as 
planned by the authorities, was to proceed up the 
great river of Rejang, and attack the pirate com- 
munities from inland ; but on our way to the mouth 
of that river we received information that ninety-eight 
Seribas war boats had pulled along the coast towards 
our point of rendezvous, the Rejang. It was instantly 
decided that on its return we should attempt to in- 
tercept this fleet, and our force was divided into 
two squadrons, one to guard the entrance of the 
Seribas, the other the mouth of the next river to 
the north, the Kaluka. 

After two days' waiting, our spy boats, at sunset on 

G 



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9S BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

the 31st, brought intelligence of the approach of the 
pirate fleet. When they saw us at the mouth of the 
Kaluka, they gave an exultant shout and dashed away 
for home, but their hopes soon vanished as they were 
met by the Nemesis^ the English boats, and the mass 
of our native fleet. Some turned to escape by the 
Kaluka, but were driven back and pursued by our 
light division. They now lost all hope of being 
able to get away in their heavy bangkongs ; they 
therefore ran them on shore and escaped into the 
jungle. 

In the morning the Rajah received a note from 
Farquhar to say that he had gone up the Seribas with 
the steamer to prevent any of the pirate boats escaping, 
but the few who had forced their way through the 
blockading squadron were already far beyond his 
reach. Our division then proceeded to the mouth of 
the Seribas. What a sight it was ! Seventy-five of 
their war boats were lying on the sands, eighteen had 
been sunk at sea, and twelve alone escaped up the 
river. Such a defeat had never before been known. 

These war boats were very different from what 
have been described by certain critics. I measured one. 
It was eighty feet in length, nine in breadth, and its 
pulling crew must have consisted of at least seventy men. 
The pirates murdered all their girl captives, and, after 
shocking mutilations, cut oflF their heads and escaped. 
We soon had ample proof of the piracies committed 
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RAJAH BROOKE 99 

shore, but they had captured two large native vessels 
on their way to and from Singapore. It would have 
been easy to have destroyed the fugitive pirates by 
occupying a narrow isthmus over which they must 
pass, but Sir James Brooke, convinced that this great 
defeat would have full effect, called oflF his excited 
native followers to the attack of the interior strong- 
holds. 

During our stay on the districts of Paku, we lost 
some men from the over-confidence of the sons of the 
Orang Kaya Tumangong of Lundu, who advanced to 
clear the path by which we were to march on the 
town. They were stooping to pull out the ranjaus 
when the Seribas, headed by Lingire, sprang upon them, 
and cut down two, while the third son escaped, as a 
party of our Malays poured a volley into the enemy 
and killed several of them. However, we advanced 
next day and laid their country waste, our native 
contingent loading themselves with plunder. Having 
showed the pirates that no defences could prevent our 
punishing them, it was decided to carry out the 
original plan and attack those Sakarang and Seribas 
Dyaks who lived on the Kanowit, a branch of the 
great Rejang river, about a hundred miles from the 
mouth of the latter. These men were most feared 
by the inhabitants of the Sago districts, which were 
situated near the western entrances of the mighty 
stream. 

Many of our native allies now left us, as they were 



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loo BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

loaded with plunder and were not provisioned for so 
long a voyage ; so we proceeded with the Nemesisy the 
English boats, and our principal Malay war prahus, 
and as soon as we appeared on the Rejang fresh bodies 
of natives began to join us, eager to retaliate upon 
those who had so often attacked them and captured 
their trading vessels. The Rejang is a splendid river, 
destined some day to be an important highway of 
commerce, as its various branches open out a large 
extent of country, and it penetrates further into the 
great island of Borneo than any other stream on the 
north-west coast. 

The Nemesis towed many of the boats up to the 
entrance of the Kanowit branch, and anchored there 
whilst the expedition pushed up to attack the great 
pirate chief Buah Ryah, who had established his 
quarters in the interior of this broad river. We 
advanced rapidly, and were within one day's pull of 
his forts, while Captain Brooke, with the light division 
of fast-pulling boats had reconnoitred some miles 
ahead, and found that the pirates were beginning to 
show in great numbers, which made us feel assured 
that we should soon be in touch with the main body. 
We landed to inspect a large village house, which was 
surrounded by a cotton plantation, and found it well 
built, and full of baskets of the skulls of the unfor- 
tunates who had been surprised by these marauders. 
I counted three hundred heads in one village. We 
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RAJAH BROOKE loi 

the English force, in great spirits at the prospect of 
coming in contact with the enemy next day. We 
were therefore astonished to hear, on our arrival, that it 
had been decided to give up the object of our expedi- 
tion and return. As dinner was over, we removed to a 
short distance from our chiefs to have our meal in quiet, 
and to express to each other our indignation at the de- 
cision to which our naval commander had come. Some 
others joined us, equally disappointed. Towards the end 
of the meal, I could not help raising my glass and saying 
aloud, * Oh, for one hour of bonnie Keppel ! ' Captain 
Farquhar sprang up and came over to us to inquire 
what I meant. We told him why we considered his 
determination very detrimental to the cause, as we 
were approaching Buah Ryah's stronghold. He urged, 
however, the fatigue of his men, who had been pulling 
many days in succession against a strong current. We 
proposed a day's rest, but on a hint from Sir James I 
gave up the discussion. He thought as I did, that 
Buah Ryah would, with some reason, proclaim that 
we were afraid to attack him, and would be thus 
encouraged to hold out. This actually happened, and 
thus the pacification of these districts was delayed for 
many years. There is no doubt that the English 
sailors were really tired, and possibly also dissatisfied, 
as all the skirmishing was done by our native con- 
tingent, who forged ahead of the slow-pulling men- 
of-war's boats. How we missed the special boats of 
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I02 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

sure that had there been any real fighting ahead, all 
would have waited for them. 

As we gloomily fell down the river we met 
thousands of natives who were coming to join our 
expedition, and who were desperately disappointed 
that Buah Ryah had not been punished. When near 
the mouth of the Kanowit we were hailed by the 
inhabitants of the villages we had destroyed. A con- 
ference ensued ; they showed their faith in the white 
man by boldly pulling out to our prahus. They did 
not attempt to deny their piracies, but promised amend- 
ment ; and most of these chiefs kept their word. 

As we returned towards Sarawak the native chiefs 
of all the trading towns on the coast came to express 
their unbounded thanks to the English Rajah and to 
the Queen's forces for the punishment they had in- 
flicted on the pirates, and the prospect it held out of 
trade being carried on free from danger of pillage and 
death. 



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CHAPTER V 

ATTACKS ON THE RAJAH's POLICY VISITS TO LABUAN, 

SINGAPORE AND PENANG — MISSION TO SIAM THE 

rajah's return to ENGLAND DINNER TO HIM 

in london his remarkable speech lord 

Aberdeen's government appoints a hostile 

COMMISSION THE RAJAH's RETURN TO SARAWAK 

COMMISSION AT SINGAPORE — ITS FINDINGS. 

We were fairly contented with the results of the 
recent expedition, and thought that all would be 
satisfied with our efforts to put down piracy and 
protect trade. We were therefore greatly surprised 
on our arrival in Sarawak to find that two English 
papers had commenced violent attacks on our pro- 
ceedings, founded at first on some reports of excesses 
by our native allies during our expedition in the 
spring, when we punished the pirates at the Kaluka 
river. At the time we suspected, and it was 
clearly proved afterwards, that the originator of 
this campaign against the Rajah was Mr Henry 
Wise, Sir James's discarded agent. 

I have already mentioned that Mr Wise had been 



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104 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

accidentally entrusted with a mass of the Rajah's 
private correspondence with his mother and with 
Mr John Templer ; in the former Mr Wise found 
the expression, ' A friend was worth a dozen agents ' ; 
and in the latter such words as, ' If Wise does not obey 
my instructions I will kick him to the devil.' Mr 
Wise was by nature vindictive, and it was not sur- 
prising that he was somewhat roused by such freedom 
of expression, though it occurred in confidential letters 
to the Rajah's most intimate friends. The reason 
why these energetic remarks had been made was Sir 
James's discovery that Wise was trading on his great 
name, and (as already stated) endeavouring to form 
companies with very large capital to develop the 
resources of Sarawak. The Rajah tried in vain to 
stem this current by pointing out that there could be 
no employment for a large capital in a new country, 
and that everything must advance gradually. This 
would not have suited Wise's views, which were to 
gain for himself a large fortune, careless as to who 
suffered in the process. 

Mr Wise succeeded in floating the Eastern Archi- 
pelago Company, with a nominal capital of ^^ 100,000, 
and managed so to mystify the directors that they 
agreed to accept his own terms, by which he would 
have monopolised nearly all the profits. But not- 
withstanding that there were some respectable names 
among the directors the public did not come forward, 
and all, or nearly all, of the shares remained in the 



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RAJAH BROOKE 105 

hands of the company. The City would not help, as 
it soon became known that capitalists of undoubted 
strength had been ready to find the money, but were 
suspicious of Mr Wise's refusal to state his terms 
before the company was formed. 

Having secured, as he thought, three thousand a year 
for certain, with other great advantages in prospect, 
Mr Wise threw off the mask, and now declared to 
Government that he could no longer associate himself 
in any way with Sir James's sanguinary policy. He 
forgot entirely that his company had been formed to 
take advantage of the English Rajah's unique position 
in Borneo, so as to develop its resources and to work 
the coal in Labuan, of which colony Sir James Brooke 
was Governor. 

Mr Wise was soon in communication with the 
press, but the majority saw through the discarded 
agent, and would have nothing to do with his pre- 
tended disclosures. He succeeded, however, in gaining 
the ear of Joseph Hume, who promised to bring the 
case before Parliament, and managed to win over to 
his side Mr Cobden, and, to a lesser degree, Mr Bright. 
I must here observe that because Mr Cobden advo- 
cated Free Trade with great ability and success, his 
followers appear to consider that words must not 
be applied to him which he was ready enough to 
apply to others. Many pretended to be shocked that 
Sir James Brooke answered these attacks with his 
characteristic energy ; and I remember meeting one 



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io6 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

of the foremost statesmen of the present day at a 
dinner on my return from Borneo in i860, who, in 
reply to a question of mine, said that the language 
which Sir James Brooke had employed when speak- 
ing of ministers had prevented them from restoring 
him to his position in the public service or showing 
their appreciation of the great good he had done. It 
took my breath away. After they had heaped on him 
every humiliation which was possible, he was to sit 
quiet and bear it. It was not, however, in his nature 
to sit quiet when calumny after calumny was pro- 
pagated by his enemies. I will allow that his 
language was strong and occasionally injudicious, 
but we must remember the provocation, and that his 
heart was set on the safety of Sarawak. I must add 
that not one of those around him ever attempted to 
increase his indignation j on the contrary, we urged 
him to treat these attacks with contempt. 

After having spent one hundred and sixty days in ships 
and boats during the first eight months of 1849, we 
were, indeed, glad of a little rest. The squadron now 
dispersed. Her Majesty's ships sailed for Singapore ; 
Captain Brooke, suffering from fever, went to China for 
a change ; and Grant and I remained with the Rajah. 
Though quiet, we were busy, as deputation after 
deputation arrived from the pirate rivers to express 
their firm determination to give up piracy, and 
messengers came from the distant inland tribes to 
interview the Rajah, 'for the Dyaks had heard, the 



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RAJAH BROOKE 107 

whole world had heard, that the Son of Europe was 
the friend of the Dyak.' 

We also visited several of the interior tribes, and the 
manifold proofs that the Rajah witnessed of' the great 
advance made by those poor and humble subjects of 
his raj must have been pleasing to him. 

It was during these quiet months that we gave 
ourselves up to the library. The Rajah was a good 
reader, and it was a treat to hear him read Miss 
Austen's novels, which were great favourites of his. 
He was also very fond of religious discussions, and 
I think we listened to the whole of the long con- 
troversy between Huxley and Priestley, and heard 
all Channing's Essays. Whatever the Rajah touched 
appeared to gain an additional brightness. He was 
always- gay and full of fun, and dearly loved an 
argument. 

Every evening the native chiefs came in to talk 
to the Rajah, who supplied them with cigars, and it 
was from these conversations that he gained that 
minute knowledge of the local politics of every 
district, which served him so admirably when he 
had to deal with the chiefs along the coast. The 
Rajah had the rare gift of never forgetting a name 
or a face. One evening a poor Milanau came in, and 
after touching the Rajah's hand, squatted on the floor, 
and remained silent, as many chiefs were present. 
* I have seen that man before,' said Sir James ; and 
presently he turned round and addressed the native 



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io8 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

by name, and said, * Bujang, what is the news from 
Bintulu ? ' This man had piloted a steamer into that 
river ten years previously, and the Rajah had never 
seen him since. 

Finding he could not shake ofF the fever and ague 
contracted during our expeditions, Sir James decided 
to proceed to the island of Penang, one of the Straits 
Settlements, where he had been offered the use of 
Governor Butterworth's bungalow on a hill more than 
two thousand feet above the sea level. Hearing, how- 
ever, that his officers in Labuan were at loggerheads, 
he decided first to proceed to that colony and investi- 
gate the cause of these dissensions. We left Sarawak 
on the nth December, reaching our destination on 
the 14th ; and it was time indeed that the Governor 
should arrive. Our few days were prolonged to over 
ten weeks, as an inquiry had to be instituted into 
the conduct of the Lieutenant-Governor. Though I 
do not think that anything was proved against his 
personal honour, it was clearly established that his 
violent temper and quarrelsome disposition rendered 
him unsuited for the position, and Sir James Brooke 
suspended him from his functions. 

While this inquiry was going on, we proceeded 
to Brunei to see the Sultan, and heard, whilst we 
were in the capital, that the Chinese traders were 
most anxious to remove to our colony, but I do not 
believe they ever really intended to do so. They 
had built houses for themselves in the capital, and 



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RAJAH BROOKE 109 

were doing a thriving trade on a small scale ; and 
unless they all agreed to move at the same time, none 
w^ould move. The Bornean Malay traders also talked 
of migrating from the capital to a spot opposite 
the colony. The slave question would prevent their 
establishing themselves within its boundaries ; but it 
is always a difficult thing for men to abandon their 
homes, and in this case, as the power of the Brunei 
Government was broken, they no longer feared 
oppression. So the colony remained stagnant. 

We left Labuan at the end of February, and after 
calling in at Sarawak, proceeded to Singapore, where 
a budget of news awaited us. The English Governor 
had appointed Sir James as Special Envoy to proceed 
to Siam and Cochin China to form treaties with 
those states ; at the same time we heard of the 
renewal of virulent attacks on the Rajah's policy by 
certain journals and Members of Parliament. After 
a pleasant stay of a fortnight, we proceeded to Penang 
in the hope that we should all shake off the fever 
and ague contracted during our exhausting expedi- 
tions. 

No man loved nature more than did the Rajah, 
and he enjoyed his stay on this lofty hill. He could 
ride, or wander among the lovely flowers and plants 
of the Governor's garden, or he could gaze on the 
beautiful scenery which unfolded itself around us. 
Those six weeks were indeed delightful, and we 
often looked back on our quiet sojourn there and 



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no BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

its refreshing rest. We busied ourselves also in 
preparing for our missions to Siam and Annam, to 
which I had been appointed secretary. 

As the ship of war which was to have taken us 
to Siam was soon expected, we would not wait for 
the mail steamer, but left Penang in a sailing vessel, 
and took seventeen days to reach Singapore, a distance 
of only four hundred miles; in our case it was the 
greater haste the less speed. 

On our arrival in Singapore we found that there 
was no vessel ready for us, and we had to wait 
weary months there before one was placed at 
our disposal. At first we were to have had the 
Hastings battleship ; then, from some personal reason, 
it was decided by Admiral Austen, brother to Jane 
Austen, no doubt the ^William' of Mansfield Park^ 
that we were to have H.M.'s steamer Sphynx^ 
Captain Shadwell. It was quite useless to show 
ourselves in Siam without a commanding force, if 
we wished to secure a favourable treaty. It was 
known that the King of Siam had become hostile 
to Europeans, and nothing but fear would work on 
his prejudiced mind. Had we appeared off the 
Menam River with a strong squadron, our mission 
would have been respected. 

Early in August we left Singapore for Siam in 
the Sphynxy attended by the Company's steamer 
Nemesisy and were soon at our destination. Captain 
Brooke and I were sent in to the forts at the mouth 



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RAJAH BROOKE iii 

of the river to make arrangements for the Envoy's 
suitable reception. We found the people on shore 
in great alarm, and we heard that a heavy boom had 
been placed across the river to prevent the steamers 
proceeding to the capital. When v^^e had settled 
our business we returned to Sir James, and it was 
arranged that he should enter the river next morning 
in the larger ship. It appeared to a landsman that no 
sufficient precautions were taken to mark the deepest 
passage, but we trusted to a native pilot, who speedily 
ran us on a sandbank. There was no help for it, as 
the Sphynx could not be moved, but to be trans- 
ferred to the Nemesis^ and we then steamed on to 
the forts. 

The minister charged with foreign affairs had 
come down to receive us, so the first meeting between 
him and the English Envoy took place at the village 
close to the mouth of the river. 

It was an amusing scene. The arrogance of this 
half-civilised people was extreme, and the minister, 
to show his disdain, had the seats intended for the 
English Envoy and his suite placed in a position of 
marked inferiority. He himself was seated on a 
divan, with soft cushions, and surrounded by his 
gold betel boxes and tea service, whilst his followers 
crouched behind him, and no native approached, except 
on his hands and knees, crawling like an insect along 
the floor. The minister rose as we entered, and 
pointing to some chairs, motioned us to be seated, 



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112 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

but Sir James passed them by. He approached the 
minister and shook hands, and sat down opposite to 
him ; we all followed suit, and did the same, placing 
our chairs beside that of our chief. The minister was 
breathless with astonishment, but he resumed his seat, 
and in a short time recovered his composure, and the 
usual routine of questions and answers followed. He 
said that the Government had built a house for the 

■ *'^'v reception of the mission, and that state barges were 

. -vbeing prepared to convey the Envoy and his suite to 

the capital. Had the Sphynx been able to enter the 

^iver, we might have insisted on going to the capital 

;v!iSB^Mh the Nemesis^ but it was settled that we should 
proceed in the state barges. Captain Brooke and 
I went first to inspect the temporary house allotted 
to us, but finding it unsuitable, we accepted the 
offer of an English merchant to take his house for 
the mission, and use the other for our escort and 
for visitors from the ships. 

Sir James Brooke was soon satisfied that, under the 
then reigning king, success was hopeless, as he had 
imbibed a strong prejudice against foreigners through 
the unjustifiable conduct of an English merchant, 
who had nearly ruined the prospects of our trade 
by an attempt to coerce the King into buying a 
steamer at four times its value. But what proved 
of importance was the confidential intercourse which 
took place with Chaufa Mungkut, the legal heir to 
the throne. This prince had retired to a monastery 



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RAJAH BROOKE 113 

to avoid the persecution of the King, who was an 
illegitimate elder brother. 

We readily gathered sufficient information as to 
the King's ill-treatment of various British subjects 
to warrant our Government acting against him ; but 
all our present advances were rejected. I may again 
repeat that had we arrived with a strong squadron, 
with ships which could have entered the river, and 
decided to proceed to Bangkok in a war vessel, there 
would have been little opposition to signing a treaty ; 
but Sir James thought that not much would be 
gained by forcing a convention on the Siamese. 

Satisfied that nothing could be done, Sir James 
sent to the Foreign Minister the value of all presents 
received, and we started for the mouth of the river 
in the state barges, and soon found ourselves on 
board the Sphynx on our way to Singapore. Our 
only success had been the discovery that Chaufa 
Mungkut was favourable to the English, that he 
was an educated prince, who could converse and 
correspond in our language, and that when he came 
to the throne he would be ready to negotiate. 

On our arrival in Singapore we received the par- 
ticulars of the debate of July 12, 1850, which had 
taken place in the House of Commons concerning our 
proceedings against the Seribas pirates. Though Mr 
Hume's motion had been rejected by a great majority. 
Sir James justly complained that no minister had 
stood up to express their approval of his policy. 



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114 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

However, though these attacks might irritate, they 
could not do away with the pleasure afforded by 
the good news from Sarawak. The civil war which 
had broken out in Sambas between the Chinese gold- 
working companies and the Sultan,, backed by the 
Dutch, had caused about 4000 Chinese agriculturists 
to fly from that country and take refuge in Sarawak. 
This was a welcome addition, for wherever Chinese 
settle there are trade and cultivation, and revenue 
follows in their footsteps. 

As soon as we could send off the papers connected 
with the Siam Mission we proceeded to Sarawak to 
find great activity there. The Chinese were spread- 
ing about the town and in the interior, and the Rajah 
was soon busy regulating the affairs of the country, 
preventing the encroachments of the Chinese on the 
Dyaks, to which they were very prone, and visiting 
various inland tribes to mark their progress. At one 
of those villages we were struck by the intelligent 
questions put by several of the Dyaks regarding Siam 
and the neighbouring states, and on inquiry we found 
that before the advent of the white Rajah the rulers 
of the country were accustomed to send them to pull 
an oar in the pirate fleets which then cruised through- 
out these seas. They had evidently used their eyes to 
some purpose whilst thus employed. 

A very severe attack of fever and ague interrupted 
the Rajah's activity, and he was at length persuaded 
to listen to the voice of his medical man, and 



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RAJAH BROOKE 115 

to return to England for the benefit of his health. 
But he first visited Labuan, which he found 
still making but slow progress ; and, though it 
appeared at one time that there was really about to 
be an influx of Chinese and Malays from the 
capital, when it was found that the Governor was 
returning to England they made up their minds not 
to move until he came back. Some of the latter had 
had their prahus towed over by the Nemesis^ but they 
soon went away again, and the contemplated move- 
ment never took place. The feet was that at that 
time they trusted only the English Rajah, and if he 
were not in Labuan to protect them they would not 
risk exciting the hostility of the Brunei Government. 

We soon started again for Sarawak, and on the 1 7th 
of January the Rajah left us for Singapore on his way 
to England. His three offices were thus filled — Mr 
Scott, afterwards Sir John Scott, was in charge of 
the Colony of Labuan ; Captain Brooke of the 
Principality of Sarawak ; and I remained as acting 
Commissioner. 

I should mention that whilst we were away attend- 
ing to Siamese affairs, Mr Balestier, Special Envoy 
from the United States, went to Sarawak in a frigate, 
the bearer of a letter from the President to Sir James 
Brooke, as ruler of the State of Sarawak, proposing 
a convention between the two countries. As a 
British official. Sir James thought it right to submit 
the subject to Lord Palmerston, who found nothing 



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ii6 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

objectionable in the proposed arrangement ; however, 
amid the heated controversy that was in progress, the 
question was unfortunately neglected. 

We had all hoped that this visit to Europe was for 
health's sake; but the requisite rest could not be 
obtained, as Sir James found himself at once pursued 
by the malignity of his enemies — Mr Wise and the 
Eastern Archipelago Company — who had found 
channels to diffuse their false accusations, as I have 
before noticed, in Mr Hume and Mr Cobden. In 
the debates in the House, Lord Palmerston spoke out 
strongly and clearly, and the majority was absolutely 
crushing; but Joseph Hume did not know when he 
was beaten, and brought the question again and again 
before Parliament. 

Sir James now turned on his enemies ; dragged the 
Eastern Archipelago Company into court, and the 
case ended by it being declared that * The directors 
had signed a false certificate, knowing it to be false.' 
This was in regard to their capital. Their charter 
was therefore abrogated and the seal torn off that 
document. These directors must have bitterly re- 
gretted having joined Wise in his campaign against 
the Rajah. 

Sir James was also busy in answering hostile attacks, 
and his letters addressed to Mr Drummond, M.P., 
on Mr Hume's assertions, were considered masterly 
compositions, completely establishing his case — the 
view entertained by all reasonable men. Mr Sidney 



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RAJAH BROOKE 117 

Herbert also determined to break a lance with the 
Rajah, but soon repented of his temerity and retired 
discomfited from the field. Sir James had this ad- 
vantage over his adversaries, that his conduct in 
Borneo had been marked by so much courage, and 
was so straightforward and honourable, that they 
could find no weak point in his armour. 

A great dinner was given to Sir James Brooke at 
the London Tavern, on the 30th April 1852, attended 
by over two hundred men of distinction, and among 
the many speeches that were made, one by Baron 
Alderson was especially remarkable. He observed, 
^ that the greatest benefactors of the human race have 
been most abused in their own lifetime,' but not- 
withstanding this, ' he promised him the approbation 
of his own conscience, the approbation of all good 
and reasonable men, and of Almighty God, who does 
justice and who will reward.' 

The speech of the evening, however, was that of 
the guest. Those who had never heard him before 
were surprised and delighted. His noble presence, his 
refined manner, the charm of his voice, quite capti- 
vated them, whilst his words carried conviction. He 
wound up by saying, 'Do not disgrace your public 
servants by inquiries generated in the fogs of base 
suspicions ; for, remember, a wrong done is like a 
wound received — the scar is ineffaceable. It may be 
covered by glittering decorations, but there it remains 
to the end.' Prophetic words 1 



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ii8 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

Lord Derby's Government was now in office, and 
Lord Malmesbury settled with Sir James Brooke that 
he should be appointed Her Majesty's representative 
in the Further East, to enable him to negotiate 
treaties with foreign powers. He was to begin with 
Siam and Cochin China. A General Election, how- 
ever, took place in the autumn of 1852, which sealed 
the fete of the Conservative Ministry. Sir James had 
already been named Envoy to Siam, and would have 
proceeded at once to that country by the special wish 
of Chaufe Mungkut, the new king, when the Mission 
was suddenly and unexpectedly put off, owing to His 
Majesty's desire to have further time to complete the 
elaborate funeral ceremonies required by custom for 
his brother, the late king. Ever since our mission to 
Siam in 1850, Chaufe Mungkut had kept up a private 
correspondence with the Rajah of Sarawak, in whose 
doings he showed great interest. 

So closed the year 1852, and on the ist January 
1853 appeared the list of the new ministers — the 
Coalition Ministry of Lord Aberdeen. ^England 
loves not coalitions,' said D 'Israeli ; and we certainly 
did not love this one. Probably to strengthen their 
parliamentary majority, and yielding to the influence 
of Mr Cobden, the new Government decided to grant 
Mr Hume's demand and issue a Commission to in- 
quire into the conduct of Sir James Brooke. Sir 
James himself had always courted inquiry, and there- 
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RAJAH BROOKE 119 

intention to him before he left England, which he 
had decided to do during the first week in April. 
But instead of consulting with him, they tried to 
keep the whole affair dark, and it was only ac- 
cidentally that Sir James heard of it. I never 
could understand how a frank, loyal man like Lord 
Clarendon could lend himself to such proceedings, but 
I suppose he was overruled by Lord Aberdeen and 
Mr Sidney Herbert. 

Finding that their determination to issue a Com- 
mission of Inquiry could no longer be concealed from Sir 
James Brooke, they wrote to him ofiicially on the sub- 
ject, and stated that they would call on the Governor- 
General of India to choose Commissioners. They 
further assured Sir James that 'the inquiry should 
be full, fair and complete.' But the whole transac- 
tion had been so underhand, so humiliating to him 
personally, so derogatory to him as ruler of Sarawak, 
that he felt it bitterly, and he closed his despatch to 
Lord Clarendon, April 4, 1853, the day he left 
England, with these words : ' It is with sorrow un- 
mixed with anger that I leave the world to judge the 
services I have rendered and the treatment I have 
received.' 

On Sir James Brooke's arrival in Singapore he 
found that while the Government had been reticent 
with him, they had been confidential with Mr Hume, 
who repaid that confidence by divulging all the details 
of the proposed Commission to the editor of a hostile 

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120 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

paper in Singapore. This personage made the most 
of it, and indulged in violent tirades, in which he 
gloated over the disgrace which had fallen upon Sir 
James. But this abuse affected none of the Rajah's 
friends, who were the flower of Singapore society. 

No ships of war were now at his disposal, and I 
doubt whether in his then state of mind he would 
have accepted their services. He returned to Sarawak 
in a small merchant brig, the ff^eeraffy commanded by 
a cheerful little Frenchman. 

His reception in his adopted country might have 
consoled him for the injustice of his own Government, 
for never had he received a more sincere welcome. 
The whole population was astir, and the hill on which 
Government House stood, as well as the house itself, 
was crammed with his joyous subjects ; but he soon 
complained of being tired. We noticed that the 
Rajah's face looked swollen, and I heard a native say 
he had purunasi^ but none of us understood the word, 
which meant smallpox in the language of the north. 
Fever came on, and I used to sit for hours with him. 
At^last it was manifest to everyone that it was small- 
pox. No sooner did he hear this than he insisted that 
all those who had not suffered from that disease should 
leave the room, and he chose his attendants among the 
Malays and submitted to native treatment. His cousin, 
Arthur Crookshank, watched over him, and all would 
have braved the danger of contagion, but he would 
have none of us with him. A Mr Horsburgh, a 



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RAJAH BROOKE 121 

missionary, who thought he had passed through 
the ordeal, joined those who were nursing him. 

By the Rajah's express order our hill was tabooed, 
and all were forbidden to approach for fear the 
disease might spread ; but this rule was afterwards 
relaxed in favour of those who had already suffered 
from it, and as most of the Malays were in that case, 
they came every day to inquire. There was no 
doubt of the intense feeling of anxiety that oppressed 
the people. There were prayers in the mosques, votiv« 
offerings by Klings and Chinese, and as for the Dyaks, 
they were in despair. However, the crisis passed, and 
then the Rajah was overwhelmed with presents, 
Scented water was brought for his bath ; delicate 
dishes, to tempt his appetite, came from the native 
ladies ; and the rejoicing was true and heartfelt. We 
all remained near the Rajah, and as soon as we were 
permitted eagerly joined in nursing him. The attack 
had been most severe, and it would have been difficult 
for a casual acquaintance to have recognised the same 
man in our chief, who had just escaped from the very 
jaws of death. 

As soon as the Rajah was sufficiently recovered, he 
decided to visit the capital. The Sultan Omar Ali was 
dead, and Pangeran Mumein had been chosen to fill 
that office, although he did not belong to the royal 
family. We started in the same little merchant brig 
fVeeraffy and were soon at the capital. The Rajah 
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122 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

during his long absence. The Eastern Archipelago 
Company had sent their agent to try and induce the 
late Sultan to complain of the conduct of Her 
Majesty's Commissioner ; and the Ex-Lieutenant- 
Governor of Labuan had also written to the Brunei 
Government to tell them of the Commission, and 
to insinuate that Sir James was no longer the power- 
ful personage that he had been. The Queen had 
decided to inquire into his conduct ; so now was the 
time to act. However, these intrigues completely 
failed. 

The Rajah had not been a week in the capital 
when his influence was as completely re-established 
as when he had an admiral and a squadron at his 
back. The grant of Sarawak was confirmed, and a 
new deed was made out, giving him the govern- 
ment of the rivers, as far as the Rejang, on the 
payment of £1000 a year. Not even Mr Hume 
could say that he obtained these concessions by the 
use of force. 

While we were in Brunei, we lodged in the Sultan's 
palace, and were kd from the royal kitchen ; we 
found the cuisine excellent. The Sultan and 
pangerans were constant visitors, and we enjoyed 
our stay among them. Not only did the Brunei 
Government confirm public grants, but they handed 
over to the Rajah the originals of the letters addressed 
to them by Mr Napier and others, showing how 
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RAJAH BROOKE 123 

that a Commission of Inquiry had been granted by 
our vacillating ministers. 

Nothing could better illustrate the conduct and 
character of the Rajah than the results of this visit. 
Here was this man, under the ban of the British 
Government, exposed to every insult from a reptile 
press — fortunately among English papers a very small 
minority — ^and apparently in deep disgrace. Yet in 
his own adopted country he was respected, loved 
and trusted beyond any other man by all races and 
creeds. 

Upon our return to Sarawak we heard of Lord 
Clarendon's instructions to the Commission which 
was to inquire into Sir James Brooke's conduct and 
position. As I propose to devote a few pages to it 
later on, I need not dwell upon them now. 

The Rajah had long meditated a scheme to bring 
the Land Dyaks of Sarawak, Samarahan and Sadong 
under the direct rule of the Government. Up to the 
year 1853 ^^^ Dyak tribes had been apportioned 
among the three Datus or Malay chiefs, which was 
the immemorial custom ; but it was found in practice 
to work badly, particularly in the hands of the Datu 
Patingi. He was an ambitious man, fond of parade, 
and kept up two large establishments for his principal 
wives. To support the expense, he not only exacted 
all that was legally due to him, but carried on a 
S)rstem of forced trade, preventing the Dyaks from 
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124 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

on an extended system and in its worst form. 
The complaints which reached headquarters were 
numerous. After he had married his daughter to one 
of the Arab adventurers on the coast, who pretended 
to be a descendant of the Prophet, his extortions knew 
no bounds. 

The Rajah determined to pay the Datus fixed 
salaries, fifty per cent, beyond their legal dues, and to 
insist on the trade with the Dyaks being as free in 
practice as it was in theory. The Malay chiefs were 
pleased with the arrangement ; but gradually the old 
abuses of forced trade were reintroduced by the 
Patingi, and the Rajah was often obliged to interfere 
to protect the Dyaks. 

The Patingi became dissatisfied when he found his 
evil courses checked, and began to conspire against his 
benefactor, who had saved his life after the civil war 
was ended ; and when he heard that a Commission had 
been appointed by the English Government to try the 
Rajah, he became very active in his intrigues, and 
proposed to the other chiefs to expel the English from 
Sarawak. None joined him, and though they kept a 
watch on his proceedings, they never breathed a word 
of the nascent conspiracy either to the Rajah or to any 
of his officers. When the whole executive Government, 
English as well as Malay, were away on an expedition, 
a brave young chief, Abong Patah, came to me (I was 
then Her Majesty's acting Commissioner) and revealed 
all the details of the plot. I instantly sent off the 



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RAJAH BROOKE 125 

news to the Rajah, who did not doubt its truth for 
a moment. He had himself observed very suspicious 
movements of the Patingi's armed vessels, and had also 
noticed that whenever that chief anchored near the 
English war prahu, where all the Rajah's officers 
assembled every evening, the other chiefs would, 
apparently by accident, allow their prahus to drop 
alongside. The Rajah communicated the discovery 
to some of his most trustworthy followers, both 
English and Malay, but left the Patingi in ignorance, 
though judicious precautions were taken to frustrate 
his machinations. 

As soon, however, as the Rajah returned to the 
capital, he summoned a meeting of all the chiefs and 
principal men of the country, and in open court 
accused the Patingi of all his crimes and misde- 
meanours. He told him that on account of the 
respect he had for his family he would not try him 
for high treason ; but that all his arms and am- 
munition must be handed over to abide the decision of 
the Government. The Patingi was too surprised to 
deny his guilt ; in fact, he knew that every chief present 
was aware of his criminal intentions. It ended by his 
being permitted to make the pilgrimage to Mecca. 
The Rajah's leniency, though judging by subsequent 
events misplaced, was so natural that it met with 
general approval, except among the more far-seeing of 
the Malays, who predicted that this ungrateful chief 
would yet do the English an ill turn. 



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126 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

The Rajah then tried an experiment, of which 
some doubted the wisdom, of supplying the place of 
the deposed Datu by appointing the head of the 
Mohammedan priesthood in Sarawak to become the 
third ruling Malay chief. He was brother to the 
Datu Bandhar — a quiet, honest, good Malay. How 
well the Rajah judged has been shown by the 
subsequent history of Sarawak. The Datu Imaun has 
always proved the mainstay of the English in all their 
troubles and difficulties ; and, although much over 
eighty, I heard of his being well and active until quite 
recently. 

The Rajah had intended to adopt no warlike measures 
against the pirate Dyaks, headed by the notorious chief 
Rentab, until the Commission was over, but after 
waiting fifteen months, and finding no signs of its 
assembling, he determined to lead an expedition 
against them. Previous attempts by his officers had 
foiled, but this expedition was so well organised 
that its success was assured. 

Eight thousand Malays and Dyaks answered to the 
summons of their chief, whilst an expedition of fifteen 
hundred men threatened the enemy in the interior 
of the Rejang, and well-armed war prahus anchored 
in the Seribas. We pushed up the great Batang 
Lupar river, then ascended the Sakarang as far as 
our big war boats would go, built a fort for their 
protection, left a garrison — ^and there the Rajah was 
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RAJAH BROOKE 127 

permit him to expose himself to the further hardships 
of the advance. 

We proceeded in our light boats, or pushed through 
the jungle. I never saw such a go-as-you-please ex- 
pedition. An enterprising enemy might have cut ^s ofF 
as we scattered through the woods, but fortunately they 
were over-awed by the reports of our numbers and of 
our arms. Captain Brooke, who was in comniand, saw 
the danger of this method of advance, and decided to 
continue the expedition in boats. Our people had 
found a large number of these in the jungle, hidden 
there by the enemy, so we soon had enough for the 
Malays. At first most of the Dyaks preferred to 
walk, but gradually they secured sufficient canoes to 
enable all to advance by the river. 

The object of the expedition was to attack Sungei 
Lang — 3. large fortified village held by Rentab and his 
followers, and, if possible, a stronghold he had con- 
structed on the summit of the Sadok Mountain. 
After much skirmishing and firing, the fort was 
gallantly stormed, and before sunset was completely 
in our hands. And glad we were that there had 
been no delay, as scarcely were we housed, when a 
violent tempest burst, that would have eflFectually 
drenched us had we remained in the open. We 
stayed in this village whilst our men were employed 
punishing the followers of Rentab ; but no attempt 
was made to attack his fortified post on the summit of 
the Sadok mountain. Natives seldom care to con- 



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128 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

tinue a campaign after its announced object has been 
accomplished, and our object was to take Sungei 
Lang. Sadok defied successive expeditions for eight 
years more. The Sakarang river was now in flood, so 
that on our return we passed over all natural obstruc- 
tions in safety. We were heartily received by the 
Rajah and congratulated on our success, as the storm- 
ing of Rentab's stronghold was no mean achievement 
with only native followers. 

On our arrival at Sarav/ak we had news of the 
Commissioners being expected at Singapore, and 
H.M.'s. brig Lily arrived to convey Sir James Brooke 
and his followers to our Straits Settlements, but the 
Rajah had to go alone, as Grant, Brereton and myself 
were down with fever, the result of over-exposure 
to sun and rain and the cold watches of the night. 
Brereton did not recover, and in him the Rajah lost a 
most efficient and devoted officer. 

No one now cares for the Commission sent to 
inquire into the position and conduct of Sir James 
Brooke, Rajah of Sarawak, and Commissioner and 
Consul-General in Borneo ; but as its results were so 
disastrous I must devote a few pages to it. 

As I have before mentioned — and here I am obliged 
to repeat some observations I have previously made — 
when Sir James Brooke found that his agent in 
England, Mr Wise, was trying to involve him in 
schemes which he considered doubtful, he endeavoured 
to check him, and used strong language about his 



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RAJAH BROOKE 129 

projects, looking upon them as designs to defraud the 
public by false representations. Mr Wise accidentally 
came to know the energetic expressions used by his 
employer, and decided to have his revenge, but he 
held his hand until the right moment had arrived. 
He still continued to press Sir James to join his 
gigantic companies, but failed in his attempts. 
Other events occurred which excited him still more, 
such as the Rajah's handing over to the British 
Government, instead of directly to himself, the grant 
of the coal seams in certain portions of the Sultan's 
dominions which Sir James had received whilst Her 
Majesty's Agent. At length, when his employer 
called upon him to produce his accounts, as a very 
large balance was due to him, Mr Wise began to 
denounce him publicly. The Farquhar expedition 
furnished him with the opportunity, and he now 
posed as a humanitarian, and furnished certain 
members of the press with garbled information. 
We may imagine how unscrupulous he was when 
Lord Clarendon stated, *It had been detected in the 
Foreign Office that Mr Wise's " Papers printed for 
use in the Government Offices'*'* could not be relied 
on, and that some were "simple forgeries.'" 

Mr Wise, however, managed, as I have said, to 
persuade Mr Joseph Hume to enter into his projects, 
who found an ally in Mr Cobden, and they both 
commenced a campaign in the House of Commons 
against the Rajah. This continued until the Coali- 



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130 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

tion Ministry, under Lord Aberdeen, came into power 
in 1853. To secure the Parliamentary support of the 
Free Trade party, Lord Aberdeen weakly consented to 
issue a Commission on the lines suggested by Mr 
Hume, Sir James's vindictive adversary. 

The Commission might have been issued with the 
concurrence of both parties, as Sir James was anxious 
for a full inquiry ; but the Government, whilst in- 
forming Mr Hume of their intention to accede to his 
demand, thought it becoming- to keep Sir James 
Ignorant of it, and he found it out by accident. 

Forty - five years have passed since this event 
occurred, and yet I cannot write of it without a flush 
of indignation. Mr Gladstone made this observation : 
'His (Sir James's) language respecting Mr Hume 
and Mr Cobden, two men of the very highest in- 
tegrity ... is for the most part quite unjustifiable.' 
Mr Hume's integrity, by his own confession, was not 
above suspicion, and Mr Cobden may be judged by 
the following extract : * Sir James Brooke seized 
on a territory as large as Yorkshire, and then drove 
out the natives, and subsequently sent for our fleet 
and men to massacre them.' The insolence and 
ignorance displayed in the latter statement, as I 
have elsewhere observed, are about equal. 

Grant and I soon followed the Rajah to Singapore, 
and found the Commission sitting. It was composed 
of Mr Prinsep and Mr Devereux, the former suflFering 
from a malady which was beginning to show itself at 



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RAJAH BROOKE 131 

intervals, and quite incapable of conducting the 
inquiry with dignity ; the latter everything which 
could be desired — a man of marked ability, impartial 
and painstaking. 

When the Commission opened its sittings, only 
two complainants came forward — the ex-Lieutenant- 
Governor of Labuan, and an editor of a newspaper. 
Both of these were informed that their cases were 
beyond the scope of the Commission. As, however, 
above fifty inhabitants of Singapore had signed an 
address to Mr Hume, supporting his demand for an 
inquiry into the character of the tribes of Seribas and 
Sakarang, the Commissioners naturally thought that 
they would be prepared with some evidence of their 
assertion that these tribes were not piratical, and that 
they had been massacred under false pretences ; but 
all the memorialists who were called by the Commis- 
sioners denied having any knowledge on the subject, 
and many had signed under the impression that they 
were aiding the cause of Sir James Brooke. The 
Commissioners waited day after day for hostile witnesses, 
but none came. 

While we were all waiting for that testimony which 
was not forthcoming, a gentleman who was sitting 
next me said, * I should like to give evidence.*' I 
mentioned his wish to the Commissioners. He was 
then called forward, and stated that his name was 
Boudriot ; that he was in the Civil Service of the 
Dutch Government ; that he had resided four and 



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132 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

a half years in Borneo. He knew of the Seribas and 
Sakarang Dyaks ; he had always known them as pirates, 
killing and murdering all along the coast. They came 
down in large, armed boats, holding each a crew of 
from eighty to ninety, killing the men they met and 
carrying ofF the women and children as slaves. In 
one excursion they killed about four hundred men. 
This happened in the Dutch possessions. They had 
ravaged the Dutch settlements ; probably the re- 
corded instances would number one hundred. 'As 
every one in Borneo knows them (as pirates), I ann 
surprised that anyone should question their existence.' 

When it is remembered that this evidence was 
given unsolicited by a high and experienced Dutch 
official, who, on his way home on furlough, happened 
to be passing through Singapore, and that the Nether- 
lands Government had shown itself exceedingly jealous 
of Sir James Brooke's position in Borneo, no further 
evidence would seem to have been required. Mr 
Boudriot's coming forward to bear testimony in 
favour of a political opponent was as honourable to 
the Dutch official as to his Government, which he 
knew would not object to his testifying in favour of 
the truth. 

The witnesses called by the hostile memorialists 
came to curse, but remained to bless. Reluctant as they 
were to tell all they knew, enough was dragged out 
of them to show the true character of the Seribas and 
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RAJAH BROOKE 133 

Governor of Labuan, the second a man of German 
extraction, who had lived on Sir James Brooke's 
bounty for many years, and the third the banished 
Patingi of Sarawak ; but he showed no animus against 
Sir James Brooke. In point of fact, they did not 
prove hostile witnesses, as the testimony of the first two, 
apart from the feeling displayed, was quite satis&ctory. 
Mr Devereux and Mr Prinsep observe in their reports 
that the memorialists or their agent did what they could 
to prevent the native witnesses from appearing, but 
enough came forward to prove to both Commissioners 
the piratical character of these Dyaks, and Mr 
Devereux pointedly remarks that no undue severity 
was exercised. 

In spite of the instructions to the Commis- 
sioners, which were remarkable for their hostile spirit, 
these gentlemen reported favourably on all those points 
on which the public felt any interest ; the Seribas 
and Sakarang Dyaks were declared pirates, and it 
was found and placed on record that Sir James had 
not been a trader whilst in the service of the 
Crown. On matters of opinion they differed, and 
did not accept Sir James's claim of the complete 
independence of Sarawak de jure^ though it was so 
de facto. The other questions were of no practical 
importance. 

Although we did not receive the report of the 
Commissioners until the end of the following year, 
I may now notice the findings, and then close this 



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134 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

unfortunate story of ministerial weakness and bad 
faith. 

There were four heads of inquiry. 

First — Whether the position of Sir James Brooke at 
Sarawak was compatible with his duties as Commis- 
sioner and Consul-General ? 

It was decided to be incompatible ; but Mr Devereux 
added, ' It may be stated as regards the past that the 
junction of the two positions has had beneficial results.' 
As the British Government had appointed Sir James 
to the post without any solicitation on his part, 
with a full knowledge of his position at Sarawak, any 
blame would be theirs and not his. As, however, he 
had resigned his posts, this point had only an academic 
interest. 

Second — Whether the interests of Sir James Brooke 
as a holder of territory, and as a trader in the produce 
of that territory, were compatible ? 

It was found that Sir James was not a trader in the 
true sense of the term any more than the Governor- 
General of India. 

Third — Personal complaints against Sir James 
Brooke. 

Two were made, but not entertained by the 
Commissioners. 

Fourth — What were the relations of Sir James 
Brooke with and towards the native tribes on the 
north-west coast of Borneo, with a view to ascertain 
whether it was necessary that he should be entrusted 



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RAJAH BROOKE 135 

with a discretion to determine which of these tribes 
were piratical, or, taking into account the recent 
operations on the coast, to call for the aid of Her 
Majesty's forces for the punishment of such tribes. 

Mr Devereux remarked, ' It appears most desirable 
that there should be an authority empowered to call 
for the aid of Her Majesty's naval forces for the 
suppression of piracy.' 

*I have already declared my opinion that the 
Seribas and Sakarang Dyaks are piratical tribes ; it 
was therefore most just and expedient, and in con- 
formity with the obligations of treaty, that punish- 
ment should be inflicted on them with the view 
to the suppression of their atrocious outrages. The 
exact measure of punishment which should have been 
inflicted is a question which does not belong to me to 
decide, but I may say that it was essential that the 
thing should be done, and done effectually. So far as 
regards the loss of life inflicted on them, there does 
not appear any reasonable ground for sympathy for a 
race of indiscriminate murderers.' 

I have thus shortly summed up the proceedings 
and findings of the Commission. I have not thought 
it necessary to enter into any details, as the questions 
are dead, and no one feels any interest in the 
mendacious statements of a W. N. or a Chameroo- 
zow. ^ The Seribas and Sakarang Dyaks are now 

' Remarks on a Recent Ntwal Execution, By W. N. Borneo Facts versus 
Borneo Fallacies, By Louis A. Chameroozow. 



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136 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

some of the best subjects of Sarawak, so faithful that 
they are enlisted as soldiers and garrison the principal 
forts. 

The Commission closed, and we returned to 
Sarawak towards the end of November with a feeling 
of great relief. As a ship of war had fetched the 
Rajah from Sarawak, so a ship of war took him back, 
and Captain Blaine of H.M.S. Rapid showed him 
every courtesy, and treated him officially as a prince 
in his own country. 

Our next six months were passed quietly. The 
Rajah was anxious about the report of the Commission, 
but he felt that in all essential points it must be in his 
favour. During this peaceful time he busied himself 
with the interior afiairs of the country, or retired for 
recreation to his charming cottage among the hills. 

No one who had not lived in close intimacy with 
the Rajah could form any idea of the charm of his 
society. His conversation was always attractive, 
whether he was treating of political or religious ques- 
tions, and when he was in good spirits, his ordinary 
talk was enlivened by playful humour. His affection- 
ate disposition endeared him to all, and although subse- 
quently differences arose with some of his followers and 
relatives, no one among them but preserved a kindly 
feeling towards their old chief. Our visits to the 
hill cottage left so pleasant an impression on my 
mind that they can never be forgotten. 

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RAJAH BROOKE 137 

created a ' Council of Sarawak/ the first members of 
which were himself and his two nephews, to represent 
the English element, and four Malay chiefs to re- 
present the native inhabitants of Sarawak. It proved 
a most useful measure, and the native members showed 
themselves highly efficient. 

In October 1855 Captain Brooke and Charles 
Grant left us for a visit home, and Arthur 
Crookshank was still absent in England, so that 
much work fell on the Rajah. We had scarcely 
settled down to a quiet life when we were disturbed 
by the arrival of despatches from Lord Clarendon, 
enclosing the Blue Book containing all the documents 
relating to the Commission, and expressing a cold 
approval of Sir James Brooke's conduct. I also 
received despatches, one appointing me Consul- 
General in Borneo, and the other containing an 
Order in Council directing me to send to the 
nearest English colony all British subjects accused 
of crimes and misdemeanours within the Sultan's 
dominions, including Sarawak. The absurdity of 
such an Order in Council appears never to have struck 
the Foreign Office. In the first place, it was in 
direct opposition to our Treaty with the Brunei 
Government ; secondly, the sending for trial to 
Singapore of a prisoner and all the witnesses would 
have entailed an expenditure of hundreds of pounds, 
possibly on account of a thief who had stolen the 
value of a shilling. It was no difficult matter to 



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138 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

point out to our Government that it was wiser to let 
well alone ; that the courts of Sarawak had always 
exercised jurisdiction over British subjects, and that 
no complaints of injustice had ever been made. I 
consequently suggested that the system then at work 
should be continued. 

Any other solution would have been felt to be 
intolerable, both by the Rajah and by the native 
chiefs. Fortunately wise counsels prevailed in 
England, and the proposed arrangement, which was 
founded on ignorance, was reversed. I was 
authorised to inform the Sarawak Council that Her 
Majesty's Government had no desire whatever to 
interfere with them, or to prevent them choosing 
what form of government they pleased ; and I added 
that the British Government accepted the plan 
suggested for settling the question of jurisdiction. 
In fact, the Sarawak courts were authorised to 
continue to try British subjects as before. 

The Rajah was deeply mortified by Lord Claren- 
don's despatches. After all the promises the latter 
had made to the late Lord Ellesmere, that if the 
Commission reported in Sir James Brooke's favour the 
Government would be prepared to do all that he 
desired, to receive a bare statement of approval of his 
conduct was very disheartening. After all the mis- 
chief which arose from the mere appointment of 
the Commission, the loss of prestige which produced 
the Patingi's abortive plot, and later on the Chinese 



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RAJAH BROOKE 139 

insurrection, such treatment was inexplicable to him. 
He was sore and indignant. He only asked for a 
steamer to be placed on the coast to check piracy. 
Even this was refused. 

However, when Lord Clarendon agreed to re- 
cognise the jurisdiction of the Sarawak courts, the 
Rajah was greatly mollified. He wrote, ^ The Govern- 
ment has done far more than I expected, and our 
misunderstanding is at an end.' The strong expres- 
sions of good-will contained in the same despatch had 
a very tranquillising effect upon him, and he almost 
thought he had forgiven the Government their great 
injustice. 

As the British Government would not allow me to 
ask for an exequatur from the Sarawak authorities, I 
left Kuching for Brunei in August 1856. It was 
severing very precious ties. Before I sailed, Arthur 
Crookshank had returned to his post and brought 
with him, as his bride, a ^ vision of beauty,' to use the 
Rajah's own phrase. 

During this year some capitalists in London formed 
the Borneo Company, to develop the resources of the 
territories under Sarawak rule. Coal had been dis- 
covered in various places, and there were valuable 
products to be collected, principally sago, guttapercha 
and india-rubber ; there was also the produce of the 
antimony mines, and subsequently cinnabar, or the 
metal containing quicksilver. 

A short time before Mr Macdougall, the head of 



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HO BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

the Borneo Mission, had been raised in rank, and was 
named Bishop of Labuan and Sarawak. 

As slight returns of fever and ague had weakened 
the Rajah, he accepted Sir William Hoste's offer of a 
passage to Singapore in H.M.S. Spartan^ where he 
passed a few months recruiting his health. Towards 
the end of January 1857 ^^ returned to Sarawak in 
the Sir parries Brooke^ a steamer sent out . by the 
Borneo Company to aid in their commercial work. 
The Rajah found the country greatly excited by 
persistent rumours of a Chinese conspiracy. His 
valuable officer, Mr Arthur Crookshank, fully believed 
in the hostile intentions of the Chinese Kungsi or 
Gold Working Company, and had therefore manned 
the forts with sufficient garrisons. But Sir James 
Brooke, having summoned the Chinese chiefs before 
him, and punished them for their illegal acts, was 
satisfied with their submission, and believed they 
would not be so insensate as to endeavour to carry 
out their previous threats. He therefore dismissed 
the extra men from the forts, and wrote to me on 
February 14th, * Congratulate me on being free 
from all my troubles,' 



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CHAPTER VI 

THE CHINESE SURPRISE THE TOWN OF KUCHING — THE 

RAJAH AND HIS OFFICERS ESCAPE THE CHINESE 

PROCLAIM THEMSELVES SUPREME RULERS THEY 

ARE ATTACKED BY THE MALAYS ARRIVAL OF 

THE 'sir JAMES BROOKE* THE CHINESE, DRIVEN 

FROM KUCHING, ABANDON THE INTERIOR AND 

RETREAT TO SAMBAS DISARMED BY THE 

DUTCH 

Chinese colonists are the mainstay of every country 
in the Further East ; but they carry with them an 
institution which may have its value in ill-governed 
countries, but which in our colonies is an un- 
mitigated evil. I refer to their secret societies. A 
secret society is ostensibly instituted under the form 
of a benevolent association, but actually its members 
are banded together to obey no laws but their own, to 
carry out the behests of their leaders without question, 
and to afford protection to each other under all 
circumstances. If a member of the secret society 
commit a crime he is to be protected or hidden 
away ; if he be taken by the police, the society is 

141 



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142 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

bound to secure him the ablest legal assistance, furnish 
as many false witnesses as may be required, and if he 
be convicted, pay his fine, or do all in its power 
to alleviate the discomforts of a prison. Therefore, 
flogging is the most deterrent form of punishment, as 
it cannot be shared. Should the society suspect any 
member of revealing its secrets, or from any cause 
desire to be rid of an obnoxious person, it condemns 
the individual to death, and sentence is carried out by 
its members, who, through fear of the last penalty, 
always obey their oath. On these occasions the 
mark of the society is put on the victim to show who 
has ordered the deed. In our colonies we have not 
been altogether successful in putting down these 
pernicious associations. 

For many years the Chinese living in Kuching, the 
capital of Sarawak, had attempted to form secret 
sqcieties, but the Rajah's vigorous hand had crushed 
every attempt, and it appeared as if success had attended 
his policy. This was the case so far as the Chinese of 
the capital were concerned j but in the interior, among 
the gold workers, the Kungsi performed the functions 
of a secret society, and its chiefs carried on extensive 
correspondence with their fellow-countrymen in 
Sambas and Pontianak, the neighbouring Dutch 
possessions, and with the Tien-Ti-Hue (Heaven and 
Earth Secret Society) in Singapore. 

When Mr Fox and I made a long tour, in July 1856, 
among the Chinese settlements of the interior, we 



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RAJAH BROOKE 143 

became convinced that opium smuggling was being 
carried on to a great extent, as however numerous 
might be the newcomers, the revenue from that 
source had a tendency to decrease. 

At last it was discovered that opium was sent from 
Singapore to the Natuna Islands, and from thence 
it was smuggled into Sarawak and the Dutch pos- 
sessions of Sambas and Pontianak. It was proved 
that the Kungsi had been engaged in this contraband 
trade, and it was fined ^150, a very trifling amount, 
considering the thousands it had gained by de- 
frauding the revenue, and measures were immedi- 
ately taken to suppress the traffic. This, and the 
punishment of three of its members for a gross 
assault on another Chinaman, were the only grounds 
of complaint which could be alleged against the 
Sarawak Government. 

But these trivial cases were not the real cause of 
the Chinese insurrection in Sarawak. Before that 
date all the Celestials in the East had been greatly 
excited by the announcement that the English had re- 
tired from before Canton, and that the Viceroy of the 
province had offered a reward of ^25 for every English- 
man slain. The news had been greatly exaggerated. It 
was said we had been utterly defeated by the Chinese 
forces, and now was the time, the Gold Company 
thought, to expel the English from Sarawak and 
assume the government themselves. The secret 
societies were everywhere in great excitement, and 



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144 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

the Tien-Ti-Hue sent emissaries over from Singapore 
and Malacca to incite the gold workers to rebellion, 
and used the subtle, but unfortunately cogent argument, 
that not only were the English crushed at Canton, 
but that the British Government was so discon- 
tented with the Rajah that it would not interfere, 
if the Kungsi only destroyed him and his officers, 
and did not meddle with private English interests 
or obstruct trade. Here we see another disastrous 
effect of the Commission. 

It was also currently reported that the Sultan of 
Sambas and his Malay nobles offered every encourage- 
ment to the enterprise ; and the Chinese listened 
much to their advice, as these noblemen can speak to 
the Celestials in their own language, and are themselves 
greatly imbued with Chinese ideas. To explain this 
curious state of things, it may be mentioned that the 
children of these nobles are always nursed by girls 
chosen from among the healthiest of the daughters 
of the Chinese gold workers. Further, about that 
time there was a very active intercourse carried 
on between the Malay nobles of Sambas and 
Pangeran Makota, the Rajah's old enemy and 
the Sultan of Brunei's favourite minister, and the 
latter was constantly closeted with an emissary 
of the Tien-Ti-Hue of Singapore, to whom I am 
about to refer. 

To show that this was not a mere conjecture 
I may state that on the 14th of February 1857, 



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RAJAH BROOKE 145 

four days before the insurrection in Sarawak, a 
Chinese named Achang, who had arrived at Brunei 
from Singapore a few days previously, and had a 
year before been expelled from Sarawak for joining 
a secret society, came to my house to try and induce 
my four Chinese servants to enter the Hue, adding 
as a sufficient reason that the Gold Company of 
Sarawak would by that time have killed all the white 
men in that country. 

At Bau, the chief town of the Chinese in Sarawak, 
the secretary of the Kungsi showed a letter from the 
Straits Branch of the Tien-Ti-Hue to a Malay 
trader named Jeludin, urging them to act against 
the foreigner. I mention these facts to show the 
extraordinary ramifications of these secret societies, 
which in every country where they exist are the 
source of endless trouble and disorder. 

During the month of November 1856 rumours 
were abroad that the Chinese Gold Company intended 
to surprise the small stockades which constituted the 
only defences of the town of Kuching, and which, 
as no enemy was suspected to exist in the country, 
were seldom guarded by more than four men each. 
Mr Crookshank, who was then administering the 
government, took the precaution (as has been stated) 
to man them with a sufficient garrison, for it was 
said that during one of their periodical religious feasts 
several hundred men were to collect quietly, and 
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146 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

from Singapore he instituted some inquiries into the 
affair, but could obtain no further information than such 
as vague rumour afforded. He consequently reduced 
the garrisons, after punishing the Chinese chiefs ; 
but such experienced officers as Mr Crookshank and 
the chief constable, Mr Middleton, were not satisfied, 
feeling that there was mischief in the air ; and Mr 
Charles Johnson wrote to me that if their high tone 
was not lowered the Chinese would certainly do the 
country a mischief. 

I was sitting one day reading in my verandah, in 
the Consulate at Brunei, when a Malay hastily entered 
and said, ' I have just arrived from Singapore. Whilst 
detained by very light winds we approached a 
schooner coming from Sarawak, and one of the crew 
called out to us, "The Chinese have risen against 
the Rajah and killed all the white men." He knew 
no more. This, coupled with what I had previously 
heard of the conversations of the Hue leader, made 
me feel very uncomfortable. I would have left for 
Sarawak at once, but there was no means of direct 
communication. In a few days a hurried note 
from a friend who had escaped to Singapore told 
me part of the catastrophe, but it was not for two 
months that I had the full particulars in a letter 
from the Rajah himself. * 

It appears that when the Kungsi saw their pro- 
fessions of loyalty accepted, they began to prepare 
for hostile operations, and on the morning of the 



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RAJAH BROOKE 147 

1 8th of February 1857 ^^^ chiefs assembled about 
six hundred of their followers at Bau, their most 
important station, and placing all the available 
weapons in their hands, marched them down to 
their principal wharf at Tundong, where a 
squadron of their large cargo boats was collected. 
It is now known that until they actually began to 
descend the river none but the heads of the movement 
were aware of its true object, so well had the secret 
been kept. To account for the preparations, it was 
given out that an attack was meditated on a Dyak 
village in Sambas, whose fighting men had in reality 
killed some Chinese. 

During their slow passage down the river, a Malay, 
who was accustomed to trade with the Chinese, overtook 
them in a canoe, and actually induced them to permit 
him to pass under the plea that his wife and children 
lived in a place called Batu Kawa, eight miles above 
the town, and would be frightened if they heard so many 
men passing, and he was not there to reassure them. 
Instead of returning home, he pulled down as fast as 
he could till he reached the town of Kuching, and 
going straight to his relative, a Malay trader of the 
name of Gapur, a trustworthy and brave man, told 
him what he had seen ; but Gapur said, * Don't go 
and tell the chiefs or the Rajah such a tissue of 
absurdities j ' yet he went himself over to the Datu 
Bandhar and informed him. The chiefs answer 
was, ' The Rajah is unwell ; we have heard similar 



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148 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

reports for the last twenty years ; don't go and 
bother him about it. In the morning I will tell 
him what your relative says.' This great security 
was caused by the universal belief that the Chinese 
could not commit so egregious a folly as to attempt 
to seize the Government of the country, considering 
that, with agriculturists included, they did not number 
above four thousand, while at that time the Malays 
and Dyaks within the Sarawak territory amounted 
to two hundred thousand at least. It was strange, 
however, and unpardonably negligent on the part of 
the Datu Bandhar not to have sent a fast boat up 
the river to ascertain what was really going on. 
Had he done so, the town and numerous lives would 
have been saved, and punishment would only have 
fallen on the guilty. 

Shortly after midnight the squadron of Chinese 
barges pulled silently through the capital, and dividing 
into two bodies, the smaller entered a creek, called 
Sungei Bedil, just above the Rajah's house, while the 
larger party continued its course to the landing-place 
of the fort, and sent out strong detachments to surprise 
the houses of Mr Crookshank, the magistrate, and Mr 
Middleton, the head constable, and a large force was 
told oflF to attack the stockades. Unaccountable as 
it may appear, none of these parties were noticed, so 
profound was the security felt ; and everyone slept. 

The Government House was situated on a little 
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RAJAH BROOKE 149 

which visitors from the out-stations were lodged. The 
Chinese, landing on the banks of the Bedil stream, 
marched to the attack in a body of about a hundred, 
and passing by an upper cottage, made an assault on 
the front and back of the long Government House, 
the sole inhabitants of which were the Rajah and an 
English servant. They did not surround the house, for 
their trembling hearts made them fear to separate into 
small bodies, as the opinion was rife among them that 
the Rajah was a man brave, active, skilled in the use 
of weapons, and not to be overcome except by means 
of numbers. 

Roused from his slumbers by the unusual sounds of 
shouts and yells at midnight, the Rajah looked out 
through the Venetian blinds, and immediately con- 
jectured what had occurred. Several times he raised 
his revolver to fire at them, but convinced that he 
could not defend the house alone he determined to 
effect his escape. He supposed that men engaged in 
so desperate an enterprise would naturally take every 
precaution to ensure its success, and concluded that 
bodies of insurgents were silently watching the ends 
of the house ; so, summoning his English servant, he 
led the way down to a bath-room on the ground floor 
which communicated with the lawn, and telling him 
to open the door quickly and follow close, the Rajah 
sprang forth, with sword drawn and revolver cocked, 
but found the coast clear. Had there been twenty 
Chinese there, he would have passed through them. 



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ISO BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

as his quickness and practical skill in the use of 
weapons were unsurpassed. Reaching the banks of the 
stream above his house he paused, observing that it 
was full of Chinese boats ; but presently, hearing his 
alarmed servant, who had lost him in the darkness, 
calling to him, he knew that the attention of the 
Chinese would be attracted that way, and dived under 
the bows of one of the barges and swam to the 
opposite shore un perceived. As he was then suffer- 
ing from an attack of fever and ague, he fell utterly 
exhausted, and lay for some time on the muddy bank 
till, slightly recovering, he was able to reach the 
Government writer's house. 

An amiable and promising young officer, Mr 
Nicoletts, who had but just arrived from an out- 
station on a visit to the Rajah, was lodged in a cottage 
near ; startled by the sound of the attack, he rushed 
forth to reach the chiePs house, but was intercepted 
and killed by the Chinese, who severed his head from 
his body, and bore it on a pike in triumph as that of 
the Rajah. Mr Steel, the Resident on the Rejang, 
and an experienced officer, quietly looked through the 
window of his cottage, and seeing what was passing, 
slipped out of the house, and soon found himself 
sheltered by the jungle ; and the Rajah's servant, whose 
shouts had drawn the Chinese towards him, had to 
display very unwonted activity before he could reach 
the protecting forest and join Mr Steel. 

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RAJAH BROOKE 151 

and Mrs Crookshank, rushing forth on hearing this 
midnight alarm, were cut down, the latter left for 
dead, the former seriously wounded. The constable's 
house was attacked ; he and his wife escaped, but their 
two children and an English lodger were killed by the 
insurgents. 

Here occurred a scene which showed how cruel 
were these Chinese. When the rebels burst into Mr 
Middleton's house he fled, and his wife, following, 
found herself in the bath-room, and by the shouts was 
soon convinced that her retreat had been cut oflF. In 
the meantime the Chinese had seized her two children, 
and brought the eldest down into the bath-room to 
show them the way by which the father had escaped. 
Mrs Middleton's sole refuge was a large water jar, 
which happened to be fiiU, and she only raised her 
mouth above water to draw breath ; there she heard 
the poor little boy questioned, pleading for his life, and 
heard his shriek, when the fatal sword was raised 
which severed his head from his body. With loud 
laughter these fiends kicked the little head from one 
to the other, and then rushed out in pursuit of Mr 
Middleton. Fortunately the bath-room was in dark- 
ness, so the mother escaped unseen. The Chinese 
then set fire to the house, and she distinctly heard the 
shrieks of her second child as they tossed him into the 
flames. Mrs Middleton remained in the jar till the 
falling embers forced her to leave it. She ran to a 
neighbouring pond and, fortunately, was thus sheltered 



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152 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

from the savages who were rushing round the burning 
dwelling. Her escape was indeed extraordinary. 

The stockades, however, were not surprised. The 
Chinese, waiting for the signal which was to be the 
attack on the houses, were at length perceived by a 
sentinel, and he immediately roused the Treasurer, Mr 
Crymble, who resided in the stockade which contained 
the arsenal and the prison. He endeavoured to make 
some preparation for defence, although he had but 
four Malays with him. He had scarcely time, how- 
ever, to load a six-pounder field-piece, and get his own 
rifle ready, before the Chinese, with loud shouts, 
rushed to the assault. They were led by a man who 
bore in either hand a flaming torch. Mr Crymble 
waited until they were within forty yards ; he then 
fired and killed the man who, by the lights he bore, 
made himself conspicuous, and before the crowd 
recovered from the confusion in which they were 
thrown by the fall of their leader, discharged among 
them the six-pounder loaded with grape, which made 
the assailants retire behind the neighbouring houses or 
hide in the outer ditches. But with four men little 
could be done ; and some of the rebels, having crossed 
the inner ditch, began to remove the planks which 
constituted the sole defence. To add to the garrison's 
difiiculties, they threw over into the inner court little 
iron tripods, with flaming torches attached, which 
rendered it as light as day, whilst they remained 
shrouded in darkness. 



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RAJAH BROOKE 153 

To increase the number of defenders Mr Crymble 
released the sole occupants of the prison — a fraudulent 
debtor and a Malay madman who had killed his wife 
in a fit of fury. The former quickly disappeared, 
whilst the latter, regardless of the shot flying around, 
stood to the post assigned him, opposite a plank the 
Chinese were trying to remove. He had orders to 
fire as soon as the first assailant appeared, and when 
the plank gave way and a man attempted to force his 
body through, he pulled the trigger of his carbine, 
without lowering the muzzle, and sent the ball through 
his own brains. Mr Crymble now found it useless 
to prolong the struggle. One of his four men was 
killed, and another, a brave Malay corporal, was shot 
down at his side. The wounded man begged Mr 
Crymble to fly and leave him to his fate, but asked 
him to shake hands with him first and tell him 
whether he had not done his duty. The brave Irish- 
man seized him by the arm and endeavoured to drag 
him up the stairs leading to the dwelling over the 
gate ; but the Chinese had already gained the court- 
yard, and pursuing them, drove their spears through 
the wounded man. Mr Crymble was forced to 
let go his hold, and with a brave follower, Daud, 
swung himself down into the ditch below. Some of 
the rebels outside the fort, seeing their attempted 
escape, tried to stop the Treasurer, and a man stabbed 
at him, but the spear only glanced on his thick frieze 
coat, and the Chinese received in return a cut across 



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154 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

the face from the Irishman's cutlass which was a 
remembrance to carry to the grave. 

The other stockade, though it had but a corporal's 
watch of three Malays, did not surrender ; but finding 
that every other place was in the hands of the Chinese, 
the brave defenders opened the gate, and, charging 
the crowd of rebels, sword in hand, made good their 
escape, though all were severely wounded. 

The confusion which reigned throughout the rest 
of the town may be imagined, as, startled by the 
shouts and yells of the Chinese, the inhabitants 
rushed to the doors and windows and beheld night 
turned into day by' the bright flames which rose in 
three directions — where the Rajah's, Crookshank's and 
Middleton's large houses were all burning at the same 
time. 

It was at first very naturally thought that the 
Chinese contemplated a massacre of the Europeans, 
but messengers were soon despatched to them by 
the Kungsi to say that nothing was further from 
their intention than to interfere with those who were 
unconnected with the Government, which refinement 
of policy shows that the plan had been concocted by 
more subtle brains than those possessed by the gold 
workers of Bau. 

The Rajah had, as soon as possible, proceeded to 
the Datu Bandhar's house, and being quickly joined 
by his English officers, endeavoured to organise a 
force with which to surprise the victorious Chinese ; 



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RAJAH BROOKE 155 

but It was impossible. No sooner did he collect a few 
men than their wives and children surrounded them and 
refused to be left behind ; and being without proper 
arms and ammunition, it was but a panic-stricken 
mob. So he instantly took his determination, with 
that decision which had been the foundation of his 
success, and, giving up the idea of an immediate 
attack, advised the removal of the women to the 
left-hand bank of the river, where they would be 
safe from a land attack of the Chinese, who could 
make their way along the right-hand bank of the 
river by a road which ran at the back of the town. 
This removal was accomplished by the morning, 
when the small party of English under the Rajah 
walked over to the little river of Siol, which falls 
into the Santubong branch of the Sarawak river. 
At the mouth of the Siol the Rajah found the war 
boat of Abang Buyong, with sixty men, waiting for 
him, which was soon joined by six others and many 
canoes, for no sooner did the Malays of the neigh- 
bouring villages hear where the Rajah was than they 
began flocking to him. He now started for the 
Samarahan, intending to proceed to the Balang Lupar 
to organise an expedition from the well-supplied forts 
there. On their way they rested at the little village 
of Sabang, and to the honour of the Malay character 
I must add that never during the height of his power 
and prosperity did he receive so much sympathy, 
tender attention and delicate generosity as now, when 



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156 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

a defeated fugitive. They vied with each other as 
to who should supply him and his party with clothes 
and food, since they had lost all ; and if to know 
that he was enshrined in the hearts of the people 
was any consolation to him in his misfortunes, he 
then had ample proofs of it. No wonder that in 
reading these accounts the Daily NewSj hitherto so 
hostile to him, should say, ' We have sincere pleasure 
in proclaiming our unreserved admiration of the 
manner in which he must have exercised his power 
to have produced such fruits.' 

When morning broke in Kuching, there was a scene 
of the wildest confusion. The six hundred rebels, 
joined by the Chinese vagabonds of the town, half- 
stupefied by opium, were wandering about in every 
direction, discharging their muskets loaded with ball 
cartridges. But at eight o'clock the chiefs of the 
Gold Company sent a message to the Bishop of 
Sarawak, requesting him to come down and attend 
the wounded. He did so, and found thirty-two 
stretched out, most of them from shot wounds ; but 
among them he noticed a man with a gash across his 
face from the last blow Mr Crymble had struck at 
th3 rebels ; and before the Bishop's arrival they had 
buried five of their companions. 

Poor Mrs Crookshank had lain on the ground all 
night, desperately wounded, and with extraordinary 
coolness and courage had shammed death whilst the 
rebels tore the rings from her fingers, or cut at her 



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RAJAH BROOKE 157 

head with their swords. Her life was saved by 
her mass of braided hair. Early in the morning her 
servant found her still living, and went and informed 
the Bishop, who had great difficulty in persuading the 
Kungsi to allow him to send for her. She arrived in 
the mission house in a dreadful state. 

It was soon evident that, in the intoxication of 
victory, the Chinese aimed now, if not before, at the 
complete domination of the country, and summoned 
the Bishop, Mr Helms, agent for the Borneo Com- 
pany, Mr Ruppell, an English resident, and the Datu 
Bandhar to appear at the Court House. The Europeans 
were obliged to attend the summons. The Malay 
chief also came, but with great reluctance, and con- 
trary to the advice of the Datu Imaun, his more 
energetic brother ; but he thought it expedient to 
gain time. 

The Chinese chiefs, even in their most extravagant 
moments of exultation, were in great fear that on 
their return up the river the Malays might attack 
them in their crowded boats and destroy them, as 
on the water they felt their inferiority to their mari- 
.time enemies. 

It must have been an offensive sight to the Europeans 
and the Malays to witness the arrangements in the 
Court House on that day of disaster. In the Rajah's 
chair sat the chief of the Gold Company, supported 
on either side by the writers or secretaries, while the 
representatives of the now apparently subdued sections 



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158 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

took their places on the side benches. The Chinese 
chief then issued his orders, which were that Mr 
Helms and Mr Ruppell should undertake to rule the 
foreign portion of the town, and that the Datu 
Bandhar should manage the Malays, while the Gold 
Company, as supreme rulers, should superintend the 
whole and govern exclusively the up-country districts. 
During this time the Europeans could see the head of 
Mr Nicoletts carried about on a pole to reassure the 
Chinese that the dreaded Rajah had really been killed. 
The Chinese chiefs knew better, but they thought 
to impose upon their ignorant followers. 

Everything now appeared to be arranged, when 
the Bishop remarked that perhaps Mr Charles Johnson 
might not quite approve of the conduct of the Chinese 
in killing his uncle and friends. At the mention of 
Johnson's name there was a pause. A blankness came 
over their countenances, and they looked at each 
other as they now remembered, apparently for the 
first time, that he, the Rajah's nephew, was the resolute 
and popular ruler of the Sakarangs, and could let loose 
at least ten thousand wild warriors upon them. At 
last it was suggested, after an animated discussion, that 
a letter should be sent to him requesting him to con- 
fine himself to his own government, and then they 
would not attempt to interfere with him. 

They appeared also to have forgotten that there 
were Sadong, under Mr Fox, and Rejang, under Mr 
Steel, who, between them, could bring thousands into 



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RAJAH BROOKE 159 

the field, and that Seribas also was panting for an 
opportunity to find fresh enemies. All this never 
seemed to have occurred to them before undertaking 
their insensate expedition. 

The Chinese were very anxious to have matters 
settled at Kuching, as, with all their boasts, they were 
not feeling comfortable. They were not only anxious 
to secure the plunder they had obtained, but the 
leaders knew that the Rajah was not killed, and what 
he might be preparing was uncertain. They there- 
fore called upon the European gentlemen and the 
Malay chiefs present to swear fidelity to the Gold 
Company, and under the fear of instant death they 
were obliged to go through the formula of taking 
oaths with the sacrifice of fowls. 

Next day the rebels retired up-country unmolested 
by the Malays, and a meeting was at once held at 
the Datu Bandhar's house to discuss future proceed- 
ings. At first no one spoke. There was a gloom 
over the assembly, as the mass of the population was 
deserting the town, carrying off their women and 
children to the neighbouring district of Samarahan 
as a place of safety, when Abang Patah, son of the 
Datu Tumangong, addressed his countrymen. He 
was a sturdy man, with a pleasant, cheerful counten- 
ance, and a warm friend to English rule, and his first 
words were, * Are we going to submit to be governed 
by Chinese chiefs, or are we to remain faithful to 
oiu- Rajah ? I am a man of few words, and I say I 



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i6o BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

will never be governed by anyone but by him, and 
to-night I commence war to the knife against his 
enemies.* 

The unanimous determination of the assembly was 
to remain faithful to the Rajah, but they were divided 
as to the course to be pursued. Patah, however, un- 
fortunately, cut the knot of the difficulty by manning 
a light war boat with a dozen Malays, and proceeding 
at once up the river, attacked and captured a Chinese 
boat, killing five of its crew. In the meantime all 
the women and children had been removed from the 
town, and some trading prahus were manned and 
armed but imperfectly, as the Chinese had taken 
away the contents of the arsenal, and the chief 
portion of the crews of the war boats were engaged 
in conveying the fugitives to Samarahan. 

Patah's bold act was no doubt well meaning, but 
was'decidedly premature, as the Malays, being scattered, 
could not organise any resistance, and urgent entreaties 
were made to the Rajah to return and head this move- 
ment. He complied, as he could not even appear to 
abandon those who were fighting so bravely for him ; 
but he knew it was useless, and arrived at Kuching to 
find the rest of the English flying, the town in the 
hands of the Chinese, and smoke rising in every 
direction from the burning Malay houses. 

It appears that when the news reached the Chinese 
that the Malays were preparing to resist their rule, 
they determined to return immediately to Kuching, 



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RAJAH BROOKE i6i 

and attack them before their preparations could be 
completed. They divided their forces into two 
bodies, as they were now recruited by several 
himdreds of men from other gold workings, and had 
forced the agriculturists established at Sungei Tungah 
to join them ; in fact, their great boats could not hold 
half their numbers, so one body marched by a new 
road which had been opened to the town, while the 
other came down by the river. 

As soon as the Malays saw the Chinese barges 
rounding the point above the town they boldly 
dashed at them, forced them to the river banks, 
drove out the crews, and triumphantly captured ten 
of the largest cargo boats. The Chinese, better 
armed, kept up a hot fire from the rising ground, and 
killed several of the boldest Malays, among others 
Abang Gapoor, whose disbelief in his kinsman's story 
enabled the rebels to surprise the capital, and who to 
his last breath bewailed his fatal mistake ; and one 
who was equally to be regretted, our faithful old 
follower, Kassim. The latter lingered long enough to 
see the Rajah again successful, and he said he died 
happy in knowing it. Notwithstanding their losses, 
the Malays towed away the barges, laden, fortunately, 
with some of the most valuable booty, and secured 
them to a large trading prahu, anchored in the centre 
of the river. Having thus captured some superior 
arms and ammunition they could better reply to the 
fire of their enemies who lined the banks. 

L 



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i62 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

In the meantime the Rajah arrived opposite the 
Chinese quarter, and found a complete panic prevail- 
ing, and all those Malays and Dyaks who had 
preceded him flying in every direction. Having 
in vain attempted to restore order, he drew up 
his boat on the opposite bank to cover the retreat, 
and after a sharp exchange of musketry fire he 
returned to Samarahan to carry out his original 
intention. 

The Rajah joined the fugitives, and his first care 
was to see to the safety of the English ladies, the 
children, the non-combatants and wounded, and to 
send them off, under the charge of Bishop Macdougall 
and others, to the secure and well-armed fort of Linga. 
He now felt somewhat relieved, as he knew that there 
his charges would be in perfect safety, as they were 
surrounded by faithful and brave men, who could have 
defended the fort against any attack. There were 
no enemies at Linga, except such as existed in the 
imaginations of the terror-stricken runaways from 
Sarawak, who had not yet recovered from their 
panic. 

The Rajah prepared on the following day to take 
the same route, in order to obtain a base of operations 
and a secure spot where he could rally the people and 
await a fresh supply of arms. It was sad, however, 
to think of the mischief which might happen during 
this period of enforced inaction, particularly as the 
Datu Bandhar and a chosen band were still in Kuching 



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RAJAH BROOKE 163 

on board the large trading vessel, which was surrounded 
by lighter war prahus. Here was our gentle Bandhar, 
a man whom no one suspected of such energy, showing 
the courage of his father, Patingi Ali, who was killed 
during Keppel's Sakarang expedition, and directing 
attacks on the Chinese whenever an opportunity 
offered. Thus harassed, the rebels were dragging up 
heavy guns, and it was evident the Malays could not 
hold out for many days, particularly as there was 
now little to defend ; the flames which reddened the 
horizon, and the increasing volumes of smoke, told the 
tale too well that the Malay town was being com- 
pletely destroyed. 

With feelings of the most acute distress the Rajah 
gave the order for departure, and the small flotilla fell 
down the river Samarahan, and arriving at its mouth 
put out to sea, when a cry arose among the men, 
* Smoke ! smoke ! It is a steamer ! ' And sure enough 
there was a dark column rising in the air from a three- 
masted vessel. For a moment it was uncertain which 
course she was steering, but presently they distinguished 
her flag — she was the Sir James Brooke^ the Borneo 
Company's steamer, standing in for the Muaratabas 
entrance of the Sarawak river. The crew of the 
Rajah's prahu, with shouts, gave way, and the boat was 
urged along with all the power of their oars, to find 
the vessel anchored just within the mouth. 

< The great God be praised ! ' as the Rajah said. 
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1 64 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

prahus were taken in tow, and the reinforcements of 
Dyaks, who were already arriving, followed up with 
eager speed. What were the feelings of the Chinese 
when they first saw the smoke, then the steamer, it 
is not necessary to conjecture. They fired one wild 
volley from every available gun and musket, but the 
balls fell harmlessly; and when the English guns 
opened on them, they fled panic-stricken, pursued by 
the rejoicing Malays and Dyaks. 

Early that morning a large body of Chinese had 
proceeded from the right to the left bank to burn the 
half of the Malay town which had hitherto escaped 
destruction, but though they succeeded in destroying 
the greater portion, they signed their own death 
warrant, as the Malays, at the sight of the steamer, 
resumed the offensive, seized the boats in which their 
enemies had crossed the river, and the Dyaks followed 
them up in the forest. Not one of that party could 
have escaped. Some wandered long in the jungle and 
died of starvation ; others were found hanging to the 
boughs of trees, having preferred suicide to the linger- 
ing torments of hunger. All these bodies were after- 
wards discovered, as they were eagerly sought for. 
The natives said that on every one of them were found 
from five to twenty pounds sterling in cash, from the 
pillage of the public treasury, besides silver spoons and 
forks, or other valuables — the plunder of the English 
houses. 

The main body of the Chinese on the right bank 



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RAJAH BROOKE 165 

retired in some order by the jungle road, and reached 
a detachment of their boats which had been sent from 
the interior to its terminus, and from thence moved 
on to Balidah, opposite Siniawan, the fort famous in 
Sarawak history, which the Rajah had besieged on 
his first arrival, and which after the insurrection was 
over became the headquarters of Charles Grant, 
Resident of Upper Sarawak. 

Thus was the capital recovered, all burnt, however, 
except the Chinese quarter of the town, and the 
Mission and Mr Helms's Borneo Company's premises. 
The Rajah established himself temporarily on board 
the Sir James Brooke^ and the Government soon began 
to work again. The Land Dyaks, who had been faith- 
ful to a man, sent to request permission to attack 
the enemy. This being accorded, the chiefs led their 
assembled tribes, and rushed in every direction on the 
Chinese, driving them from their villages, and com- 
pelling them to defend two places only, Siniawan and 
Bau, with Tundong, the landing-place of the latter 
town. The smoke rising in every direction showed 
them that they were now being punished for the 
injuries they had inflicted on others. The Gold 
Company, in their blind confidence, had made no 
preparations in case of defeat, and it was well 
known that their stock of food was small, as every- 
thing had been destroyed at the above-named places 
except their own stores, and these were required to 
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1 66 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

them from the town, and the whole agricultural 
population. 

The harassing life they led must soon have worn 
them out without any attacks, for they could no 
longer pursue their ordinary occupations, or even 
fetch firewood or water without a strong-armed party, 
as the Dyaks hung about their houses, and infested 
every spot. It soon became a question of food, and 
they found they must either obtain it or retire across 
the frontier into Sambas. They therefore collected 
all their boats and made a foray eight miles down the 
river to Ledah Tanah, and there threw up a 
stockade in which they placed a garrison of two 
hundred and fifty picked men, under two of their 
most trusted leaders. They placed four guns in 
position to sweep the river, and, armed with the best 
of the Government's muskets and rifles, they not only 
commanded the right and left-hand branches, but 
felt secure from a direct attack by the main river. 
Parties were then sent out to plunder the Dyak 
fermhouses, and one bolder than the rest attempted 
to scale the mountain of Serambo to destroy the 
Rajah's country house ; but the Dyaks barred the 
passage with stockades, and by rolling down rocks on 
the advancing party effectually defended their hill. 
These Chinese were very different from those we see 
in our British settlements. Many of them were half 
breeds, having Dyak mothers, and were as active in 
the jungle as the aborigines themselves. 



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RAJAH BROOKE 167 

To check the Chinese fora)rs, and afford assistance 
to the Land Dyaks, the Rajah sent up the Datu 
Bandhar with a small but select force to await his 
arrival below the Chinese stockade ; but the gallant 
Bandhar, on being joined by the Datu Tumangong 
and Abang Buyong, and a few Sakarang Dyaks, 
dashed at the fort, surprised the garrison at dinner, 
and carried it without the loss of a man. The 
Chinese threw away their arms and fled into the 
jungle, to be pursued and slain by the Sakarang 
Dyaks. Stockades, guns, stores and boats were all 
captured, and what was of equal importance, the 
principal instigators of the rebellion were killed. 

As soon as the few that escaped from the fort 
reached Siniawan, a panic seized the Chinese there, 
and they fled to Bau, where they began hastily to 
make preparations to retire over the frontiers. The 
Rajah, who was hurrying up to the support of the 
Bandhar, hearing of his success, despatched Mr 
Johnson with his Dyaks to harass the enemy ; these, 
together with the Sarawak Malays, to whom most of 
the credit is due, pressed on the discomfited Chinese, 
who, fearing to have their retreat cut off, started fcr 
Sambas. They were attacked at every step, but being 
supplied with the best arms, they were enabled to beat 
off the foremost parties of their assailants, and retire 
in fair order along the good road which led to the 
Dyak village of Gumbang on the Sambas frontier. 
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1 68 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

the active Dyaks made a rush from the jungle that 
borders the path and spread confusion and dismay. 
But the Chinese had every motive to act a manly part ; 
it was their only line of retreat, and they had to 
defend above a thousand of their women and children, 
who encumbered their disastrous flight. 

At the foot of the steep hill of Gumbang they made 
a halt, for the usual path was found to be well 
stockaded, and a resolute body of Malays and Dyaks 
were there to dispute the way. It was a fearful 
position ; behind them the pursuers were gathering 
in increasing strength, and unless they forced this 
passage within an hour, it must be death or surrender. 
At last someone, it is said a Sambas Malay, suggested 
that there was another path further along the range, 
which, though very steep, was practicable ; this was 
undefended, and the fugitives made for it. 

The Sarawak Malays and Dyaks, seeing too late 
their error in neglecting to fortify this path also, 
rushed along the brow of the hill, and drove back the 
foremost Chinese. Their danger was extreme ; but 
at that moment, as if by inspiration, all the Chinese 
girls rushed to the front, and encouraged the men to 
advance. This they again did, and cheered by the 
voices of these brave girls, who followed close clapping 
their hands, and calling them by name to fight with 
courage, they won the brow of the hill, and cleared 
the path of their less numerous foes. While this was 
going on, another column of Chinese, in the absence 



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RAJAH BROOKE 169 

of most of its defenders, surprised the village of 
Gumbang, burnt it to the ground and then crossed 
the frontier. They were but just in time, as the 
pursuers were pressing hotly on the rearguard, and 
the occasional volleys of musketry told them that 
the well-armed Malays were upon them ; but they 
were now comparatively safe, as they were all clear 
of the Sarawak frontier, and although a few still 
pursued them, the main body of the Malays and 
Dyaks would not enter Dutch territory, and halted 
on the summit of the Gumbang range. 

The miserable fugitives, reduced to two thousand, of 
whom above half were women and children, sat down 
among the houses of the village of Sidin, and many of 
them, it is said, wept not only for the loss of friends 
and goods, which they had suffered owing to the 
insensate ambition of the Gold Company, but also 
because they had to give up all hope of ever return- 
ing to their old peaceful homes. 

That Company, which on the night of the surprise 
had numbered six hundred, was now reduced to a band 
of about one hundred, but these kept well together, and 
being better armed than the others, formed the principal 
guard of the Tai-pe-Kong, a sacred stone, which they 
had, through all their disasters, preserved from the 
profane hands of their enemies. Several times the 
assailants, who mistook it for the gold chest, were on 
the point of capturing it, but on the cry being raised 
that the Tai-pe-Kong was in peril, the men gathered 



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170 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

round and carried it securely through all danger. 
At Sidin, however, all immediate apprehension being 
over, the discontent of those who had been forced to 
join the rebels burst forth without .control, so that 
from words they soon came to blows, and the small 
band of the Company's men was again reduced by 
thirty or forty from the anger of their countrymen. 

Continuing their disorderly retreat, they were met 
by the officers of the Dutch Government, who very 
properly took from them all their plunder and arms, 
and being uncertain which was their own property, 
erred on the safe side by stripping them of everything. 
The Dutch officers sent back to Sarawak all the loot 
the Chinese had taken either from the Government or 
from private individuals. 

Thus terminated the most criminal and causeless 
rebellion that ever occurred, which during its con- 
tinuance displayed every phase of Chinese character, 
arrogance, secrecy, combination, an utter incapability 
of looking to the consequences of events or actions, 
and a belief in their own power and courage which 
every event belied. The Chinese, under their native 
leaders, have never fought even decently, and yet up 
to the very moment of trial they act as if they were 
invincible. 

This insurrection showed, in my belief, that though 
the Chinese always require watching, they are not in 
any way formidable as an enemy ; and it also proved 
how firmly the Sarawak Government was rooted in 



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RAJAH BROOKE 171 

the hearts of the people, since in the darkest hour 
there was no whisper of wavering. Had the Chinese 
been five times as numerous, there were forces in the 
background which would have destroyed them all. 
Before the Chinese had fled across the frontier, the 
Seribas and Sakarang Malays and Dyaks, under Mr 
Johnson, had arrived, and the people of Sadong were 
marching overland to attack them in rear, while the 
distant out-stations were mustering strong forces, which 
arrived to find all danger past. 

I believe that it was almost worth the disaster to 
show how uniform justice and generous consideration 
are appreciated by the Malays and Dyaks, and how 
firmly they may become attached to a Government, 
which, besides having their true interests at heart, 
encourages and requires all its officers to treat them 
as equals. The conduct of the Malay fortmen, of 
Kasim and Gapoor, the generous enthusiasm of Abang 
Patah, the gallant rush at the Ledah Tanah stockade 
by the Bandhar and his followers, showed what the 
Rajah had effected during his tenure of power. He 
had raised the character of the Malay, and turned a 
race notorious for its lawlessness into some of the best- 
conducted people in the world. 

I may add that the results of the Chinese insurrec- 
tion were very curious in a financial point of view. 
Though about three thousand men were killed or driven 
from the country, yet as soon as quiet was thoroughly 
restored, the revenue from the Chinese soon rose. 



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172 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

instead of falling, which proves what an extensive 
system of smuggling had been carried on. The 
breaking up of the Gold Company was felt by all 
the natives as a great relief. It is worthy of remark 
that while the Chinese were still unsubdued in the 
interior, boats full of their armed countrymen arrived 
from Sambas, fully believing that Kuching was now 
in the hands of the Kungsi, but on their proceeding 
up the river to join them, were met by the Malays, 
driven back and utterly defeated. 

The Dutch authorities behaved with thorough 
neighbourly kindness on this occasion, for as soon 
as they heard of the rebellion of the Chinese, they 
sent round a steamer and a detachment of soldiers to 
the assistance of the Sarawak authorities. Fortunately 
by that time all danger was past, but the kindness of 
the action was not the less appreciated. H.M.S. 
Spartan^ Captain Sir William Hoste, also came over 
to Sarawak, but I fear that his instructions were less 
generous : he could aid in protecting British subjects, 
but not the Government of Sarawak. The shadow 
of that baneful Commission still hung over the 
operations of our navy. 

While the Rajah was struggling with all these diffi- 
culties, the Sir y antes Brooke^ which had been sent to 
Singapore for supplies, now returned, bringing a large 
party to join him — his nephew. Captain Brooke, and 
Mrs Brooke, Mr Grant, Mr Hay, a new recruit, of 
whom the Rajah said : * A gentlemanly man, young, 



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RAJAH BROOKE 173 

of good family, and of the right stamp,' in truth, the 
only class of officer suitable for the work. There 
came also many people connected with the Borneo 
Company, including Mr Harvey, the managing 
director, Mr Duguid, the head of the Sarawak 
branch, and others. In giving me an account of the 
arrivals, the Rajah wrote : ' Our domestic intelligence 
is of the best and pleasantest. Brooke's wife is a 
sweet, sensible, but playful creature, charming in 
manners.' 

When the news of the Chinese insurrection reached 
Seribas, all the chiefs were anxious to go to the help 
of the Government, and while many of tKem were 
away in Sarawak, our old Sakarang adversary, Rentab, 
of Lang Fort reputation, attacked the villages of our 
friends. The Rajah therefore determined to punish 
him, and started for Seribas himself to encourage the 
well intentioned, and Captain Brooke visited the 
Rejang, while Mr Charles Johnson was ordered to 
attack Sadok, the chiefs mountain stronghold, with 
his Malays and Dyaks. The attack failed, however, 
though Charles Johnson exposed himself to every 
danger to secure success. 

I went down to Sarawak by the first opportunity, 
and reached it in July, to find everything proceeding 
as if no insurrection had occurred. Though the 
Malay town had been burnt to the ground, yet the 
inhabitants had soon recovered their energy, and had 
rebuilt their houses, which, though not so substantial 



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174 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

as the former ones, still looked very neat. Some 
things were missed in the landscape : the handsome 
Government House, with its magnificent library, had 
disappeared ; and there were other gaps to be filled 
up, but fortunately the Chinese had had no time to 
destroy the church, the mission house, or the Borneo 
Company's premises. 

I never saw a more perfect library than that de- 
stroyed by the Chinese, perfect in everything — the 
best historians and essayists, all the poets, the most 
celebrated voyages and travels, books of reference, and 
a whole library of theology and law, as well as a 
goodly array of the best novels. Besides losing his 
beloved library, the Rajah was at the same time deprived 
of all the records of his previous life, for he had col- 
lected his journals and papers, and these shared the fate 
of his books. He was, as I have said, a great reader, 
and had latterly devoted himself to the study of inter- 
national law. He remembered the salient points of a 
question with great accuracy, and could explain clearly 
every subject he studied. He had a wonderful gift 
of language. 

I found, as I had expected, that the loss of worldly 
wealth had had little effect on my old chief, who was 
as cheerful and contented in his little, comfortless 
cottage as he had ever been in Government House. 
His health, which before the insurrection had not been 
strong, had wonderfully improved through his great 
exertions in endeavouring to restore the country to its 



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RAJAH BROOKE 175 

former prosperous state, and I never saw him more full 
of bodily energy and mental vigour than during the 
two months I spent in Sarawak in 1857. Everyone 
took the tone of the leader. There were no useless 
regrets over losses, and it was amusing to hear the con- 
gratulations of the Malay chiefs, — * Ah, Mr St John, 
you were born under a fortunate star to leave Sarawak 
just before the evil days came upon us.* Then they 
would recount the personal incidents which had oc- 
curred to themselves, and tell with great amusement 
the shifts to which they had been put for the want of 
every household necessary. There was a cheerfulness 
and a hope in the future which promised well for the 
country. 

I found that the deserted gardens around the town 
had been in part reoccupied, for already Chinese were 
cultivating them. In order to avoid interrupting the 
narrative, I have not before noticed that during the 
height of the insurrection, when the rebels had only 
been driven from the town a few days, news came that 
several hundred Chinese, fugitives from the Dutch 
territories, had crossed the frontier near the sources 
of the left-hand branch of the Sarawak, and were 
seeking the protection of the Rajah's Government. 
Though harassed by incessant work, he did not 
neglect their appeal, but immediately despatched 
trustworthy men ; and they were thus safely piloted 
through the excited Dyaks, who thought that every 
man that *wore a tail' should now be put to death. 



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176 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

No incident could better illustrate the great influence 
possessed by the Rajah over Dyaks and Malays, or his 
thoughtful care for the true interests of his country, 
during even the most trying circumstances. 

When the insurrection was completely over, the 
Rajah sent Sherif Moksain to Sambas with communi- 
cations for the Dutch authorities. As the Sherif had 
been at one time in charge of the Chinese in the 
interior he knew them well, and he said it was dis- 
tressing to see the unfortunate agriculturists, who 
had been made to join the rebels, lamenting their 
expulsion from the country. They begged for per- 
mission to return, and subsequently many did, and 
established themselves in their old quarters. 

Thus ended the second plot against the Rajah's life 
and authority, the direct outcome of the loss of prestige 
and strength which followed the appointment of the 
commission sent, to try him for high crimes and mis- 
demeanours, the fevourable findings of which had 
never been brought home to the native mind by any 
act of reparation made by the British Government. 



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CHAPTER VII 

EVENTS IN THE SAGO RIVERS THE RAJAH PROCEEDS 

TO ENGLAND — CORDIAL RECEPTION — FIRST PARA- 
LYTIC STROKE — BUYS BURRATOR TROUBLES IN 

SARAWAK — LOYALTY OF THE POPULATION — 

THE RAJAH RETURNS TO BORNEO SETTLES MUKA 

AFFAIRS WITH SULTAN INSTALLS CAPTAIN 

BROOKE AS HEIR APPARENT — AGAIN LEAVES FOR 

ENGLAND SARAWAK RECOGNISED BY ENGLAND 

LIFE AT BURRATOR SECOND AND THIRD 

ATTACKS OF PARALYSIS — HIS DEATH AND WILL 

The insurrection over, and all his absent officers re- 
turned from England, the Rajah had more time for 
the rest he required ; but no sooner had a little calm 
been restored to him, than he was strongly moved 
by the news of the Mutiny in India. *He turned 
clammy with agitation when he first heard of it ' ; 
and how true is the ring of the following — *I felt 
then, annoyed and disgraced though I have been, that 
I was an Englishman, and the ties and feelings which 
men have wantonly outraged are planted too deep to 
be torn up.' 

M 

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178 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

Though it is highly probable that the many 
changes which had taken place in the management 
of the army in India had conduced to the Mutiny, by 
separating the ofEcers from their men, and weakening 
the dependence of the soldiers on their superiors in 
order to concentrate everything in the hands of the 
War Department at Calcutta or elsewhere, yet one 
of its causes was the great increase in the number 
of married officers, who were completely out of touch 
with the native element, and heard nothing of what 
was going on among the men in the regiment. 

A little later the Rajah wrote to his nephew. 
Captain Brooke : ^ I have sometimes thought that 
since the earlier days the bonds of sympathy between 
the native and European have been slacker.* These 
words reflected the thoughts which had arisen in my 
own mind during the visit I paid to Sarawak in 1857. 
It was not so much that there was any outward sign 
of the mutual sympathy being less, but there was 
little of that old familiar intercourse which undoubtedly 
produced and fostered it. And this, ungallant as the 
opinion may seem, I put down to the presence of 
the ladies. After dinner they retired to the drawing- 
room, and we could hear music and singing going 
on, and most of the gentlemen were eager to join 
them. The native chiefs, and others who had con- 
tinued their evening visits, soon became aware of this, 
and gradually they frequented Government House 
less and less, and finally ceased going except when 



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RAJAH BROOKE 179 

business called them there. Under these conditions 
the same intimate friendship could not continue. I 
have been so long absent from Sarawak that I know 
but little of the present state of affairs there, but I 
fear that the former easy intercourse was never wholly 
re-established, and that those pleasant evenings with 
the best class of natives are things of the distant past, 
in fact, of the days of the old Rajah. 

For these and many other reasons I think that gentle- 
men who govern native states should not marry, or if 
an exception be made in favour of the chief, certainly 
his subordinates, who are employed in out-stations 
where natives abound, should not be married. And 
this rule might well be applied to the officers sent to 
our North- Western frontier in India. Marriage im- 
mediately separates the governors from the governed. 
Ladies as a rule cannot be brought to understand that 
the natives can in any case be considered as equals, 
and are apt to despise them accordingly. With such 
ideas, how can bonds of sympathy exist between the 
rulers and the ruled ? 

At that time, 1857, ^^^ ^^S^ Rivers, north-east or 
the Rejang, were very much disturbed. Though there 
were some extenuating circumstances, the action of 
Sarawak was not altogether free from blame. A 
quarrel had arisen between two native chiefs, one 
the governor of the district of Muka Pangeran, Nipa, 
and the other his cousin, Pangeran Matusin. The first 
act of the tragedy was that the latter dashed into the 



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i8o BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

house of the former and murdered him and eleven of 
his women and children. The second was the driv- 
ing out of Matusin and the slaughter of thirty-five of 
his friends and relations. Sarawak, then administered 
by the Rajah's nephew, unfortunately sided with 
Matusin, and interfered with arms ia her hands 
within the Sultan's territory. 

Before, however, these latter acts occurred, the Rajah 
had been to Brunei to try and induce the Sultan to let 
him settle matters in the Sago Rivers,' and although no 
formal documents were executed he was requested to 
see that right was done, but the Sultan would have 
nothing to do with that man of violence, Matusin. 
The Rajah went to Muka, and a period of calm 
followed this visit, but nothing was settled on a 
permanent basis. 

Sir James now decided to proceed to England, as 
many important affairs required his presence there. 
On his arrival he found everyone disposed to treat 
him with distinction, and Lords Clarendon and 
Palmerston were especially cordial. They even 
offered a Protectorate, all that was really wanted 
to ensure the stability of Sarawak and its future pro- 
gress. But that unfortunate Commission had made 
the Rajah suspicious of Ministers. He thought they 
might grant a Protectorate, and then thoroughly 
neglect Borneo aflFairs. This was, no doubt, an error, 
as under the Protectorate of England, Sarawak has 
' The Sago Rivers or districts are Muka, Oya, Egan Bruit and Mate. 



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RAJAH BROOKE i8i 

progressed to its present prosperous state without need- 
ing, or being required to submit to, the slightest inter- 
ference on the part of Her Majesty's Government. 
The Rajah thought, however, that if England had a 
monetary interest in Sarawak she would be more apt to 
look after the nascent State. He therefore asked that 
they should repay him the money he had expended in 
bringing the country to its present condition. An- 
other reason for this request was that after the Chinese 
insurrection he had been compelled to borrow ;^S000 
from the Borneo Company, and he wished to repay 
it. Every penny of his own fortune had been spent, 
and his only assured income was the pension of ^^70 
which had been granted to him on account of the 
wound received in Burmah. But this does not alter 
my opinion that he should have accepted the Pro- 
tectorate without further question. The Government 
next offered to establish a naval station in one of the 
ports of Sarawak ; why this was not accepted I never 
heard. 

On February 21, 1858, Sir James Brooke went to a 
Drawing-Room, and Her Majesty spoke to him most 
graciously, and the Prince Consort shook him cordially 
by the hand ; indeed, the Royal Family ever showed 
the greatest interest in his career; and his reception at 
the Prime Minister's greatly pleased him. 

Then came a change of Ministry, as Lord Palmer- 
ston had been defeated on the Conspiracy Bill, and the 
Rajah instantly felt a difference in the tone adopted to- 



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1 82 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

wards him by the Government. Lord Derby cared 
little for Borneo, though his son, then Lord Stanley, 
showed a very appreciative interest in Sarawak. 

The Rajah's friends thought that by continually 
agitating, by dinners, meetings, and deputations, they 
might influence the Government, and they persuaded 
him to join in the movement, but upon a tempera- 
ment so nervous as the Rajah's this wrought infinite 
mischief. His nephews also were wounding his feel- 
ings by writing from Sarawak that the Rajah desired 
to * sell Sarawak into bondage.' No wonder he felt 
dreadfully ^hurt and humiliated,' and cried out that 

* he was weary, weary of heart, without faith, without 
hope in man's honesty.' 

On the 2 1st October 1858, after making a brief 
speech in the Free Trade Hall at Manchester, he says, 

* I felt a creeping movement come over me. I soon 
knew what it was, and walked with Fairbairn ' to the 
doctor's. Life, I thought, was gone, and I rejoiced 
in the hope that my death would do for Sarawak what 
my life had not been able to effect.' Thus the Rajah 
described his first attack of paralysis. This closed his 
active participation in the movement, though his friends 
did all they could, and a very strong effort was made 
to interest the commercial classes and induce the 
Government to do something in support of his position 
in Borneo. 

' Afterwards Sir Thomas Fairbairn, and one of the most judicious and 
tried friends whom the Rajah ever had. 



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RAJAH BROOKE 183 

As soon as the Rajah could be moved with safety, 
he went to his cottage at Godstone to rest, but with 
little result, as his friends were then negotiating with 
the English Government respecting Sarawak. His 
views on the subject were quite clear and he was now 
strongly in favour of a Protectorate. Many wished 
the Government to take the country over as a Crown 
colony, but that would have proved an expensive failure, 
as the people were not sufficiently advanced to bear 
the necessary taxation. 

A great deputation, one of the most influential 
that ever waited on a Minister, had an interview with 
Lord Derby, but all to no purpose. His lordship was 
as unsympathetic as he could well be. He failed to 
appreciate the noble conduct of the Rajah, and could 
only look upon his efforts in Sarawak as a sort of 
speculation — half commercial, half political. He had 
evidently not taken the trouble to study the subject, or 
he was incapable of appreciating a generous nature. 
But the Cabinet was not of the same opinion, and 
soon overtures were made by Lord Malmesbury with 
reference to a Protectorate being granted by England. 
Before anything could be settled, however, Lord 
Derby's Ministry resigned. 

The Rajah was now again worried by his pecuniary 
embarrassments. The Borneo Company pressed for the 
repayment of the ;^5000 advanced after the Chinese 
insurrection, but a generous lady came forward and 
freed him from this claim. At the same time some 



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1 84 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

of his friends raised a testimonial to mark the apprecia- 
tion of his public work. Had there not been some 
underhand opposition by those who pretended to 
support it, it might have reached the amount expected, 
namely, ^20,000, but it only realised ^8800. With a 
portion of this he bought the small estate of Burrator 
on the skirts of Dartmoor, and here he ever felt truly at 
home. He became strongly attached to the place, and 
it was difficult to make him leave it even for a season. 
It was a charmingly wild spot, under the shadow of the 
great tors which render the country about them so 
wonderfully picturesque. The air is pure and bracing, 
and his sojourn there may be said to have relit the 
lamp of life which had been almost extinguished. 

In Sarawak aiiairs were in a bad state. The unreason- 
able efforts made by its Government to support 
Pangeran Matusin in Muka, the savage instigator of 
the civil war, were the cause of much strife, and the 
illegal conduct of the officer administering the Govern- 
ment was deeply resented in Borneo. The Sarawak 
officials were possessed with the monomania that the 
Sultan of Borneo was always intriguing against them, 
which was a pure myth, as the Brunei Government had 
neither the energy nor the power to affect them. 

The intriguers were within their own territories, 
for whilst they were watching for outside plots and 
hostile action, a dangerous conspiracy was being 
hatched by some discontented chiefs. The heads of 
this conspiracy were the ex-Datu Patingi Gapoor, now 



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RAJAH BROOKE 185 

named Datu Haji, as he had made the pilgrimage 
to Mecca, who had been permitted to return to 
Sarawak after the Chinese insurrection, and Sherif 
Musahor, a chief of Arabian descent, established on 
the Rejang. The first evidence of this treachery 
was the surprise of the fort at Kanowit, and the 
murder of two Sarawak officers, Messrs Fox and 
Steele. Yet so ignorant of the real plotters were the 
English officials at the capital, that when an expedi- 
tion was sent to punish the murderers, Tani, one of 
our best friends, was accused as an accomplice and was 
executed. As he was led forth to death he protested 
his innocence, but added, * You will soon know who is 
the real culprit.' In the end not one of the actual 
murderers escaped, as they were tracked for years, and 
were all ultimately killed. 

Sherif Musahor, however, was the real instigator of 
these murders, and the truth soon came out that the 
Datu Haji and he were the promoters of all the 
disturbances. The former was banished and the latter 
driven out of the country. He had practically no 
influence in Sarawak, and the Malay chiefs were as 
ready to follow Charles Johnson in his campaign 
against him as against any other enemy of the 
Government. All the stories about his mysterious 
influence were all nonsense, and had no effisct on the 
minds of the Sarawak people. 

Some of the biographers of Sir James Brooke have 
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1 86 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

abandoned by the English Government during these 
perilous years. This, as I have already shown, was not 
so, for immediately after the Chinese insurrection, 
both Lord Palmerston and Lord Clarendon oflFered a 
Protectorate, but this offer was refused, except under 
conditions difficult for the British Government to 
accept. A naval station placed within Sarawak 
territory was also proposed ; this likewise was rejected. 
Therefore, it must be confessed, the charge of entirely 
abandoning Sarawak was not well founded, as the 
refusal to accept British protection tied the hands of 
Ministers. The British Government went as far as 
they thought they could safely go, but, as I have already 
remarked, the Rajah did not feel satisfied with a bare 
Protectorate, as he mistrusted their sincerity. 

On my way home from Brunei to England, early in 
i860, I stopped at Singapore, and falling in there 
with Charles Grant, who had come over to recruit an 
English crew for a small gunboat, I heard of all that 
had been going on in the Rajah*s territories. I re- 
solved to go over to Sarawak to judge of the situation 
for myself, so as to be able to carry home the latest 
news to Sir James Brooke. All real danger was now 
past. The energy and courage of the Rajah's nephew, 
Charles Johnson, the present Rajah, had triumphed over 
all difficulties, and the coast as far as the Rejang was 
completely tranquil. It is easy to be wise after the 
event, but I did not then believe, nor do I believe now, 
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RAJAH BROOKE 1S7 

the plottings of the Datu Haji or of Sherif Musahor. 
They were afraid of some assassinations of foreigners 
until the former chief was banished the country, but 
on my arrival, in March i860, 1 found them as sound 
and as loyal as ever they had been. If they had not 
been so, there was nothing to prevent them expelling 
every European from the country. They were all 
unanimous in their praise of the manner in which 
Charles Johnson had met the danger and crushed it. 

Things were indeed now about to assume a 
brighter aspect. The same generous lady who had 
paid oflF the debt due to the Borneo Company found 
the money to buy a steamer, and with a steamer the 
stability of Sarawak would be finally established. The 
Rajah visited Glasgow to look out for a suitable one, 
and soon selected the Rainbow^ for so he christened 
her, as the emblem of hope. Arriving in England 
shortly after this purchase, I went down to Scotland 
with my old chief to see the steamer start. There was 
no more despondency. He would nail his colours to the 
mast. In fact, the presence of the steamer on the 
coast as the property of the Sarawak Government 
closed the period of alarms, of plots and troubles, and 
since then I do not believe there has been a single 
dangerous conspiracy to check the progress of this little 
kingdom. But before the Rainbow arrived on the 
coast there was to be one more difficulty. 

When Johnson drove Sherif Musahor out of the 
districts subject .to Sarawak, he first fled to Muka, 



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1 88 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

and then proceeded to Brunei and Labuan. His 
stories did not influence the Sultan, who knew the 
man, and was well persuaded that he had instigated 
the murder of Fox and Steele. Indeed, before I left 
Brunei, he had confided to me his suspicions. But 
the Sultan was still angry with the action of Sarawak, 
which had treated his sovereign rights with great 
contempt, so he encouraged the fugitive to proceed 
to Labuan and lay his complaints before Governor 
Edwardes, who was known to be hostile both to Sir 
James Brooke and his rising raj. This led to an 
interchange of views between the Governor and the 
Sultan, in which I fear the former promised to use 
all his influence to lower the position of His 
Highness's great feudatory, and he sent for a ship 
of war to carry out his intentions. Unfortunately, 
he obtained an Indian steamer, the Fictoria^ instead 
of one of Her Majesty's navy. No naval officer 
would have countenanced his proceedings. 

Early in i860. Captain Brooke returned to Sarawak 
and took over the administration of the Government, and 
I am persuaded he had the firm intention of living at 
peace with his neighbours, but he found that the high- 
handed proceedings of the previous year had been so 
deeply resented that the Governor of Muka, Pangeran 
Dipa, son of the murdered chief, had ordered all the Sara- 
wak trading vessels to leave his district, and having forti- 
fied the entrance to the Muka River, awaited the effect of 
SherifMusahor's appeal to the Acting Consul-General. 



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RAJAH BROOKE 189 

Captain Brooke, thinking that he could settle these 
difficulties by negotiation, went with a small force 
to Muka to interview Pangeran Dipa, determined 
to try every method of conciliation, but no sooner 
did his vessels enter the Muka than the guns of the 
fort opened fire on them. Captain Brooke thereupon 
retired to the entrance of the river, built a stockade, 
and sent for reinforcements. These soon came 
pouring in, a brisk attack was opened upon the 
enemy, and success would soon have crowned their 
efforts, had not Governor EMwardes appeared in his 
steamer and commanded Captain Brooke on his 
allegiance to suspend his operations. He naturally 
protested against such interference, but prudently 
withdrew his forces, and retired to Sarawak. The 
Governor had brought down with him Sherif Musahor, 
the murderer of his fellow-countrymen. 

Captain Brooke now appealed for justice to the 
British Government, and Lord John Russell, who 
was at the Foreign Office, thanked him for his 
conciliatory and prudent conduct, and then took 
Mr Edwardes in hand. 

When I left Brunei early in i860, 1 had requested 
Mr Edwardes to accept the acting appointment of 
Consul-General, which had enabled him to interfere 
on the coasts of the Sultan's dominions. But as soon 
as I heard of his violent proceedings I could not but 
offer to sacrifice my leave and return to Borneo to 
resume my official duties. 



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190 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

Sir James Brooke decided to go back to the East 
by the same mail in which I had taken my passage. 
From Singapore the Rajah went over to Sarawak 
in his own steamer, the Rainbow^ and I followed in 
H.M.S. Nimrody Captain Arthur. I called in at 
Kuching, and there addressed a letter to the Council 
of Sarawak, stating that Her Majesty's Government 
disapproved of Mr Edwardes's interference. I then 
went on to Labuan, relieved my substitute of his 
position as Consul-General, and proceeded to my 
post in Brunei. I found the Sultan very reserved, 
and rumours were rife that the Governor of Labuan 
had promised not only to interfere in Muka, but to 
remove all the English from Sarawak, and restore 
that country to the Sultan. This, I imagine, was 
but an invention of the Oriental mind, which jumped 
too hastily to conclusions. At all events the Sultan 
and all his high officers of State were still very 
angry, and naturally so, at the original armed in- 
terference of Sarawak within their territory. But 
when they found that the Rajah himself had arrived 
at Kuching, that he would pay over all the fines his 
nephews had raised within the Sultan's frontiers, and 
that he was prepared to make advantageous proposals 
to the Brunei Government, their brows cleared, and 
I found myself once more a welcome visitor in their 
Halls of Audience. 

The Rajah arrived, and matters were soon explained 
and arranged. The Brunei Government decided to 



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RAJAH BROOKE 191 

banish Sherif Musahor from their dominions, and to 
send for the Governor of Muka to explain his con- 
duct. I was requested by both parties to act as 
mediator, and I went as soon as possible to Muka 
in Her Majesty's corvette Charybdisy Captain Keane. 
We entered the river with all the boats of the ship, 
and were soon behind the fortifications with two 
hundred marines and bluejackets. This judicious 
display of force awed these turbulent chiefs. No show 
of resistance was made, and both Sherif Musahor and 
Pangeran Dipa decided to obey the Sultan's mandate. 

Little, therefore, remained to be done. The Rajah 
went up to Muka with a large squadron, and all the 
chiefs there kept their word and submitted. Dipa 
went off to Brunei, and Musahor was exiled to the 
Straits Settlements. With all his faults, nay, crimes, 
I could not but pity him. He had been such a 
good fellow in former years, and he had been so 
injudiciously treated by the local Sarawak officers 
with whom he had come in contact, men very 
inferior to him in every way, and totally unfitted to 
deal with a man of rank, a supposed descendant of 
the prophet Mahomed. He lived for many years in 
Singapore, but I do not know whether he is still 
alive. 

The Rajah took up his residence for some weeks 
in the fort at Muka to endeavour to restore order 
in what might be called a regular chaos of misgovern- 
ment, and succeeded to a great extent. It was 



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192 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

regretted by all that his stay was so short, as his 
magnetic influence over the natives was so remarkable 
that they all were ready to carry out his views and 
submit to his superior judgment. No one only 
accustomed to European countries could imagine the 
confused state of afFairs, for no man among the 
lower classes appeared to know whether he was a 
free man or a slave, and if the latter, who was his 
master, as he had probably been sold half-a-dozen 
times by people who had no authority over • him. 
However, in most cases, these sales were more 
nominal than real, as the self-created masters, unless 
chiefs, seldom attempted to enforce their fictitious 
rights. 

We soon went to Brunei again, and then the 
Rajah gladdened the heart of the Sultan by taking 
over the Sago districts on a yearly payment of four 
thousand five hundred dollars, and giving him a year's 
revenue in advance. Past complaints were now put 
on one side, and all was peace. 

I had been promoted to be Charge d* Affaires in 
Hayti, so that as soon as I had introduced my suc- 
cessor to the Sultan, I prepared to proceed home; 
but as the Rajah had decided to leave for England 
also, we returned together to Sarawak, where he 
wished to arrange some affairs before bidding adieu 
to Borneo. 

At his nephew. Captain Brooke's, request he publicly 
installed him as Rajah Muda or heir apparent, and 



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RAJAH BROOKE 193 

left him in charge of the Government. To this 
ceremony Sir James Brooke summoned all the 
principal men of the country, and introducing Captain 
Brooke as the Rajah Muda, bade them all farewell ; 
adding, however, that should his presence ever be 
necessary, he would return^ to resume the Government 
and to aid them in their difficulties. I never heard 
a better speech ; many of the audience burst into 
tears, and all were deeply moved. 

Definite explanations were exchanged between the 
uncle and his nephew, which gave the Rajah a free 
hand in all negotiations in England, and these arrange- 
ments were reduced to writing. I also had a distinct 
explanation with Captain Brooke as to his views, so 
that I might advance them as far as I could agree 
with them. 

We started for Singapore in the Rainbow^ and, as 
we were detained there by an accident to the mail 
steamer, the inhabitants of the settlement, to show 
that no unkind feeling remained in any section of 
society, gave the Rajah a ball. At supper his health 
was drunk with all the honours ; some good speeches 
were made, and most of his friends then said farewell 
to him, thinking they should see his face no more. 
Though rejoiced at my removal from Brunei, I 
could not leave the Further East without regret, as 
I had spent many happy years there. 

Among Sir James Brooke's most active friends and 
supporters was Mr John Abel Smith, who was very 



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194 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

intioiate with Lord John Russell, our Foreign Minister, 
and, in 1862, he opened negotiations with him and 
other Ministers for the recognition of Sarawak as an 
independent State. At first there was a proposal to 
make it a Crown Colony, but that was prudently 
discarded. Then a Protectorate was proposed, and 
at last all the negotiations centred on one point, the 
recognition of Sarawak. There was little or no 
opposition in the Ministry, when someone unfortun- 
ately suggested that Lord Elgin, the Governor-General 
of India, should send over an official to report on the 
actual condition of Sarawak. The Governor of the 
Straits Settlements, Colonel Cavanagh, was chosen to 
prosecute this enquiry. Instead of simply carrying out 
his instructions, he showed Captain Brooke the secret 
and confidential papers which had been entrusted to 
him. The latter thought that his rights were being 
tampered with, whereas, had he been fully informed, 
he would have found that recognition was the only 
question then under the consideration of the Ministry. 
But Captain Brooke was not quite himself at that time. 
He had just lost his second wife and his eldest son, and 
the inquisitiveness of the Governor probably chafed 
him. Whatever may have been the cause, he wrote 
to Lord John Russell to say that the country could not 
be handed over to England without his and the people's 
consent, and then sent a defiant letter to his uncle 
announcing that he had assumed the government of 
the country and would defend his rights by force. 



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RAJAH BROOKE 195 

The Rajah could not accept such a defiance. He 
returned to Sarawak, met his repentant nephew at 
Singapore, and sent him home on leave. Bad 
advisers in England induced him to withdraw his 
submission, and it ended in a complete estrangement 
between the uncle and nephew. He was deposed 
from his position as heir apparent, and thence- 
forth he ceased to have any interest in Sarawak. He 
had been my most intimate friend, and I regretted 
his action exceedingly, particularly as it was one of 
my own confidential memoranda to our Government 
which had incited his ire. This memorandum related 
to a different question from that which was before 
the Government, and had he been more patient he 
would have learnt that Lord John Russell fully 
recognised the inhabitants of Sarawak as a free 
people, whose consent would have been necessary 
to any transfer. 

When the news reached England that the Rajah's 
authority was uncontested in Sarawak, and that 
Captain Brooke had retired from the scene. Lord 
John Russell determined to acknowledge its independ- 
ence, and appointed a consul, who had to ask for his 
exequatur from the Sarawak Government. Thus 
this much vexed question closed to the satisfaction of 
all those who loved and admired the Rajah, but not to 
that of a group of false friends who had been working 
against him in all kinds of underhand ways. But as 
these are now turned to dust I will not refer to them 



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196 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

again. It was a triumph for the Rajah, and was the 
reward of his constancy, of his high principle, his 
irreproachable character and devotion to his people. 
The evilly-disposed were now silenced, and left him 
at peace for the remainder of his life. 

I was at that time in Hayti and did not see the 
Rajah during the years 1863, 1864 and 1865, but we 
kept up a constant correspondence. I could not rise 
superior to injuries as he did, and in one of my letters 
I slightly reproached him with appearing to forgive 
a person who had deeply injured him, and remained 
impenitent. His answer shows the kindly nature of 
the man. *True it is he injured me, and deeply, 
and perhaps what you say is true, he will injure me 
again, but in Sarawak / cannot quarrel or feel resent- 
ment against anyone, however great the evil done to 
myself.' 

Mr Ricketts was named consul at Sarawak, and he 
soon sent home highly interesting reports about the 
country. He stayed there two years, but as there 
was really nothing for a consul to do, a vice-consul 
succeeded him. At present Great Britain has a vice- 
consul at Brunei, who is accredited to the Rajah of 
Sarawak as well as to the Sultan. 

The Rajah, during these years, really enjoyed life. 
His anxieties had almost ceased. The revenues 
of Sarawak were improving, thus ensuring increased 
stability. There was both peace and contentment 
there, and trade was rapidly extending throughout 



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RAJAH BROOKE 197 

all its dependencies. His own health was remark- 
ably good, and he could enjoy visits to country 
houses, and occasionally indulge in partridge shoot- 
ing. He could now write, *In spite of trials and 
anxieties, calumny and misrepresentation, / have been 
a happy many and can pillow my head with the 
consciousness of a well-spent life of sacrifice and 
devotion to a good cause.' 

I never knew a man so ready to help when he saw 
the strong oppress the weak. As an instance of this, 
he boldly threw the weight of his influence on the side 
of Bishop Colenso, when he saw the great Church 
dignitaries ready to condemn him. 

The Rajah spent much of his time during the 
remaining years of his life at Burrator, and became 
as popular and as beloved among the small farmers 
and cottagers as ever he had been in the Far East 
during the height of his prosperity. He often took 
me to visit these rough but kindly people, and it was 
a pleasure to see how they all greeted him. I particu- 
larly noticed how the children would run out of the 
cottages to touch his hand, as if his gentle smile fasci- 
nated them. He did all he could for the parish, helped 
to restore the ruined church, and, in 1865, was cheered 
by the arrival of a clergyman and his wife, Mr and 
Mrs Dakyn, who remained his kind and tender 
friends to the day of his death. 

In the autumn of 1866 he received a severe 
shock. His nephew wrote that he had sold the 



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198 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

steamer Rainbow to pay oiF a debt due to their 
Singapore agent — ^a debt incurred through careless 
extravagance in carrying out too many public works 
at a time. For a moment it almost stupefied him, as 
this steamer had not yet been paid for. We soon 
proved to him, however, that there was but little cause 
for uneasiness, as the Sarawak revenue was ample to 
meet all disbursements, if more care were exercised 
in the expenditure on public works. But Sarawak 
without a steamer, he felt assured, would sink back 
into its old state of insecurity, and therefore a steamer 
must be had. By great exertion he succeeded in 
raising the necessary funds, and purchased a vessel 
which was christened the Royalist^ after his &mous 
yacht. 

I stayed with the Rajah at Burrator during the 
autumn of 1866, and he appeared very much stronger. 
He took his daily rides and walks, but he was 
full of anxiety about Sarawak, which continued 
until the steamer was secured. When we were 
alone we would take our afternoon ride and then 
return to tea, and between that meal and dinner 
he enjoyed his reading. He liked to have someone 
with him, and every now and then would put down 
his book and talk of any question that was then 
interesting him. After a while he would resume his 
reading and we would both remain quiet for a time. 
I never knew anyone who understood better what has 
been called * the luxury of silence.' 



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RAJAH BROOKE 199 

Two or three days before Christmas I left 
Burrator for London, and we went up together as far 
as Plymouth. I never saw the Rajah more gay or 
full of spirits, and he played whist with great enjoy- 
ment, but on his return home, the next day, he was 
struck down by a second attack of paralysis, and we 
were hastily summoned to his bedside. He partially 
recovered, but was never again able to write. His 
career was closed. He lived on, however, for about 
two years, when the final attack came at Burrator 
where, fortunately, he was surrounded by many of his 
nearest relatives. He died on the nth June 1868. 
After his third attack he did not recover conscious- 
ness, but passed peacefully away. He was buried at 
Burrator under the yew tree in the churchyard, at 
the spot he had chosen himself. His death was felt 
by all his neighbours as a personal loss, as he was, in 
truth, the friend of everyone in his parish. 

More than thirty years have passed since the Rajah's 
death, and yet the admiration for his character and his 
great qualities has but increased among those who knew 
him well or could appreciate the work he had done. I 
have endeavoured to portray him as he appeared to me, 
but there was a grandeur about his personality which 
it is difficult to describe. He could not enter a room 
without the impression being conveyed that you were 
in the presence of great superiority, and yet in 
manner he was ever simple and courteous. 

The purity of his private life was such that it 



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200 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

could not but impress both natives and Europeans, 
and that magnetic influence, as it is called, which he 
undoubtedly possessed was but the result of a superior 
mind, ever influenced by a kindly heart. He was a 
chevalier sans peur et sans reproche^ and it will be 
difficult to look upon his like again. 

The Rajah bequeathed Sarawak to his nephew, 
the present Sir Charles Brooke, G.C.M.G. He 
had lived to see the country prosper, and died 
without anxiety as to its future. The public 
debt due to him by Sarawak, he passed on to 
his successor, and the only encumbrance remaining 
was for the money advanced to buy the steamers, 
and the warlike expenditure incurred during the 
Muka expedition. This was but a slight burden on 
the finances, and was soon paid off. I rather dwell 
on this subject, as an imfounded statement has 
been made that at the Rajah's death Sarawak 
was a bankrupt State. There is no ground for 
such an assertion. The paltry debt due was covered 
tenfold by the value of the ships, the buildings, 
the public works, and the rising revenue which 
had accrued principally from the security given 
by the presence on the coast of Borneo of the 
steamers in the service of Sarawak. 

I will add a copy of the Rajah's will, as far 
as it relates to public matters : — 

* The last will and testament of Sir James Brooke, 

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RAJAH BROOKE 201 

K.C.B., Rajah of Sarawak. I, James Brooke, Rajah 
of Sarawak, of Burrator, in the County of Devon, 
give, devise and bequeath all that my sovereignty 
of Sarawak, aforesaid, and all the rights and privi- 
leges whatsoever thereto belonging unto my nephew, 
Charles Johnson Brooke, Tuan Muda of Sarawak, 
son of the Rev. Francis Charles Johnson, and the 
heirs male of his body lawfully issuing ; and 
in default of such issue unto my nephew, Stuart 
Johnson, another son of the said Francis Charles 
Johnson, and the heirs male of his body lawfully 
issuing ; and in de&ult of such issue I give, devise 
and bequeath the said sovereignty, its rights and 
privileges, unto Her Majesty, the Queen of England, 
her heirs and assigns for ever ; and I appoint Miss 
Angela Georgina Burdett-Coutts of Stratton Street, 
Piccadilly, and Thomas Fairbairn, of the city of 
Manchester, Esquire, and John Abel Smith, of Chester 
Square, in the County of Middlesex, Esquire, M.P., 
trustees of this my will to see the purposes afore- 
said carried into eflFect. I bequeath to my said 
nephew, Charles Johnson Brooke, his heirs, executors 
and administrators, all my real and personal estate 
in the Island of Borneo and England, and con- 
stitute him likewise my residuary legatee.' (After 
mentioning some private legacies which he wished 
paid, he added), *I leave all my papers to the 
care of Spenser St John, Esq., H.B.M. Chargi 
cC Affaires at Hayti, whom I appoint as one of 



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202 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

my executors, together with Alexander Knox, 
Esquire,* etc. 

Sir Charles Brooke, the present Rajah, has three 
sons living, and his brother, Stuart Johnson, died, 
leaving one son. 



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CHAPTER VIII 

PRESENT CONDITION OF SARAWAK — RAJAH AN 

IRRESPONSIBLE RULER SARAWAK COUNCIL — 

GENERAL COUNCIL RESIDENTS AND TRIBUNALS 

EMPLOYMENT OF NATIVES AGRICULTURE 

TRADE RETURNS THE GOLD REEFS COAL 

DEPOSITS VARIED POPULATION — IMPOLITIC 

SEIZXniE OF LIMBANG MISSIONS EXTRA- 
ORDINARY PANICS — REVENUE ADMINISTRATION 

OF JUSTICE — CIVIL SERVICE ALLIGATORS — 

SATISFACTORY STATE OF SARAWAK 

I HAVE found materials for writing this chapter in the 
numbers of the Sarawak Gazette^ an official journal 
published once a month. I have read its contents 
with great interest, as every district to which it 
refers was once familiar to me, and I am able to 
trace clearly the changes which have taken place 
since I left Borneo. I might rather have used 
the word expansion, as in truth the changes have 
not been so great as might have been expected. 

The Government is carried on as it was in 
the old days. The Rajah is de facto an irrespon- 
sible ruler, though he can summon the Sarawak 

203 



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204 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

Council to meet and advise him as to any new law, 
or any modification to be made in the financial 
arrangements of the country ; and I understand that 
the Rajah always consults them on such occasions. 
This Council is composed of the Rajah and two of 
the senior English ofHcers, and four native chiefs 
of Sarawak Proper. It was the Earl Grey of 1855 
who recommended its establishment to the old 
Rajah, and it has proved itself exceedingly useful. 
Its first meetings took place in 1856. 

There is also a General Council composed of the 
chiefs of the various districts imder the rule of the 
Rajah, with a due proportion of English officers. 
They assemble about once a year, to the number of 
from forty to fifty. Though it is not often that 
business is submitted to their deliberations, they are 
addressed by the Rajah on subjects of general interest, 
and are afterwards invited to dine at the Palace. It 
is a decided step in advance that this meeting of 
native and European officers should take place, as it 
tends to efface local prejudices, and to consolidate the 
Government. This General Council was not sum- 
moned during the lifetime of Sir James Brooke, 
though he often talked of doing so, and would have 
carried out his intention had he lived. 

The country is divided into five chief districts 
under English Residents : Sarawak Proper, Batang 
Lupar, Rejang, Baram and Limbang. In each 
of these there are also several assistants to look 



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RAJAH BROOKE 205 

after the management of the sub-districts. All 
these officers hold courts, but there is an appeal from 
the findings of the junior officers to the Resident 
of the district, and all very serious sentences are 
ultimately referred to the capital for the Rajah's 
decision or approval. From the reports in the 
Gazette^ I gather that very substantial justice is 
administered. The notions of equity entertained by 
some of the junior officers may be rather crude ; 
but the power of appeal enables anyone who is 
dissatisfied with a sentence to refer the matter to 
the Resident, and the natives often make use of 
this privilege with results satisfactory to themselves. 

The Government of Sarawak is a kind of mild 
despotism, the only government suitable to Asiatics, 
who look to their chief as the sole depositary of 
supreme power. The influence of the old Rajah still 
pervades the whole system, and native and European 
work together in perfect harmony. Though the 
head of each district is an Englishman, every effort 
is made to employ the natives in responsible positions, 
as collectors of revenue, as judges with the Rajah 
or the Residents in the superior courts, as sole judges 
in the native tribunals, which try all cases where 
their religion or racial customs are affected, and 
as chiefs of the different tribes and local communities, 
and, on the whole, the results appear to be satis&ctory. 

The old Rajah used to write that the development 
of native states must be slow in order to be perma- 



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2o6 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

nent, and the development of Sarawak has been very 
slow, slower than most people would have expected, 
as the introduction of steamers on the coast pointed 
to more rapid progress. 

Agriculture is the mainstay of every Asiatic 
country. In the early years of the old Rajah*s 
Grovernment the natives only grew rice sufficient for 
their own consumption, and the Chinese confined 
themselves to a little gardening near their small 
settlements; but when, in 1850, the Chinese flocked 
from Sambas into Sarawak, Captain Brooke saw the 
necessity of encouraging as many as possible of those 
accustomed to agriculture to settle on the fertile 
soil near the river's banks, and began by establishing 
colonies of these industrious immigrants at places about 
eight miles above the capital, at Sungei Tungah and 
Batu Kawa. These flourished until the year 1857, 
when the Chinese insurrection interfered with their 
progress for a time. 

The financial distress which followed this great 
upheaval prevented any further assistance being 
given to agriculturists, until, in 1875, the present 
Rajah, Sir Charles Brooke, determined to encourage 
gambier planting, and this he followed up by intro- 
ducing the cultivation of pepper, coffee, including the 
Liberian variety, cocoa and the oil palm. Of these 
coffee appears the most popular among the Malays 
and Dyaks, who have carried its cultivation into most 
of the districts of Sarawak, on a small scale, it is true, 



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RAJAH BROOKE 207 

but as the plants bear, and the returns come in, 
many more are now encouraged to cultivate this use- 
ful shrub. 

Only one English Planting Company tried its 
fortune in the country, and this failed for want of 
capital to enable it to await results. In 1895, 500 
cwts. of coffee were exported, whilst in 1896 the 
export rose to 1483 cwts., nearly treble the amount, 
and there is every probability that the annual produce 
will proportionally increase ; gambier rose from 26,250 
cwts, in 1895 to 29,285 cwts. in 1896 ; and pepper, a 
very valuable article, was exported in both years to the 
amount of over 18,000 cwts. These three import- 
ant cultivations were introduced into the country by 
the present Rajah, and their products were valued in 
1895 at ^46,820, and in 1896 at ^^44,082. 

The planting of sago, an indigenous palm, has been 
much encouraged, and the export of the manufactured 
flour in 1896 amounted to over 15,000 tons, of a 
value of about ^70,000. A little tea is grown but 
is not exported. There is no doubt that the Sara- 
wak Government has done much to encourage agri- 
culture, but it has &iled as yet to attract European 
capital. I notice that lately the Borneo Company 
has commenced to plant gambier. One of the causes 
of the failure above referred to is, that European 
capitalists are not tempted by the prospect of having 
their enterprises under the control of an irresponsible 
ruler, however just and capable he may be, as all 



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2o8 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

might change on the advent of a successor. But they 
might reflect that the Borneo Company have been 
carrying on their business for the last forty years 
without any difliculties arising. 

There are millions of acres in the Sarawak territory 
which are open to European capitalists ; hundreds of 
thousands of acres on the great river of Rejang alone, 
where water carriage would be at their door, and 
produce could be shipped direct to Europe, and that 
is only one out of the many districts awaiting foreign 
enterprise. 

It is curious that an agricultural population like 
that of Sarawak does not grow sufficient rice for its 
own consumption. In 1896 it had to import of this 
grain to the value of about ^^42,000. It is true that 
only a portion of the population is really industrious — 
the Chinese and the Seribas and Sakarang Dyaks. 
The former are otherwise employed, whilst the latter 
devote much of their energy to the collection of 
jungle produce. And yet in the district of Samarahan 
alone sufficient rice might be cultivated to supply 
the whole country. 

If we compare the trade returns of Sarawak for the 
years 1876 and 1896, and take only the dollar value, 
the increase is striking, but if you turn the amounts 
into sterling the results are very disappointing. In 
1876 the exchange value of the dollar was four 
shillings, whilst in 1896 it had fallen to two shillings 
only. This depreciation of silver certainly aids those 



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RAJAH BROOKE 209 

countries where the dollar and rupee circulate by the 
great nominal augmentation of the value of their pro- 
duce, whilst it enhances the price of European goods 
by a hundred per cent, when paid for in silver. 

In 1876 Imports from Foreign Countries, ^^ 169,000 



» 1896 „ „ 


227,000 


„ 1876 Imports Coasting Trade, . 


94,000 


„ 1896 „ „ . . 


142,000 


„ 1876 Exports to Foreign Countries, , 


186,000 


„ 1896 „ „ . , 


242,000 


„ 1876 Exports Coasting Trade, . 


98,000 


„ 1896 „ „ . , 


113,000 



These figures may relate principally to the trade of 
Sarawak Proper, as each of the large districts has a 
small direct trade with Singapore, but the indications 
are to the contrary, as the coal exported from Sadong 
is included in these returns, and the sago flour from 
some at least of the out-stations. 

The export of antimony has fallen oflF considerably, 
and cinnabar has been nearly worked out. Jungle 
produce continues to be found in large quantities, 
and gutta-percha, India rubber, rattans, beeswax and 
timber considerably swell the trade returns ; but coal 
and gold are, I think, destined to develop Sarawak 
in a remarkable manner. The Borneo Company, 
which until lately had not been able to invest much 
capital in their operations on account of the difficulties 

o 



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210 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

attending the first working of coal in Sarawak, as a 
result of the scarcity of antimony and the gradual 
failure of the great deposits of cinnabar, has now 
entered on a new phase of activity. 

Gold has been known to exist for many years. 
Even on the arrival of the first Rajah, the Chinese 
were working it on a small scale, but only in the 
alluvial deposits. I was with the late Dr MacDougall, 
Bishop of Sarawak, when, in 1854, ^^ picked up a 
piece of quartz with specks of gold distinctly visible 
in it, but it was not until many years later that great 
reefs of gold-bearing quartz were discovered, and 
although good results were obtained in the laboratory, 
the industry could not then be worked on a commercial 
basis. Lately, however, the Borneo Company has 
found that by the cyanide process it can make the 
working of the stone pay, and it has now erected 
very extensive and elaborate machinery, which, when 
in full operation, will crush three hundred tons of 
quartz a day. This will be the salvation of Sarawak, 
for there is no reason, if the working of the present 
plant prove a mercantile success, why a dozen similar 
establishments should not be erected, as the stone is 
practically inexhaustible, the reefs having been traced 
for about thirty miles. The latest reports from Sarawak 
show that the machinery is doing well in the Company's 
establishment at Bauh, and so satisfied are the directors 
with the results that they are putting up a considerable 
plant at Bidi, where the quartz is richer in quality. 



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RAJAH BROOKE 211 

Both these places are in the interior of Sarawak 
Proper. 

The benefit to Sarawak will be twofold, as the 
Grovernment is to receive five per cent, of the gold 
produced, and large numbers of Chinese, whom the 
Company finds can alone be relied on for regular opera- 
tions, must be imported to work the plant and quarry 
the stone. The ^farms' and the import duties will benefit 
by this influx of labour, and it may enable the Sarawak 
Grovernment ultimately to abolish all export duties on 
agricultural produce. We used to reckon that each 
Chinaman on an average increased the revenue by 
two pounds sterling per annum. 

The washing for gold by the Chinese in the 
alluvial soil has not for many years proved very 
productive ; in fact, it has been thought that the 
discontent of the Chinese, before the great insurrection 
of 1857, arose partly from the feet that the gold 
workings did not pay, and the coolies began to look 
with suspicion on the integrity of their chiefs. 

Coal, though worked for many years, produced at 
first no practical results, but in 1896 nearly 23,000 
tons were exported, and the amount increased greatly 
during 1897 and 1898. This also must affect the 
revenue both directly and indirectly in a very satis- 
fectory manner. 

The only fectories which have proved successful 
in Sarawak are those that produce sago flour. These 
will doubtless increase, as in many places the natives 



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112 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

have for several years past augmented their plantations, 
and it is a cultivation which suits their indolent habits, 
for after tending the young plants during the first 
year, little or no care is subsequently given to the 
palm trees. 

The population of Sarawak is very varied. In all 
its districts, with the exception of the Milanau rivers 
and Baram, there is an indigenous Malay population, 
who are born traders and fishermen, and only culti- 
vate as it were under protest ; but they do grow a 
little rice, a few rough vegetables, and lately some 
have made small coffee gardens. As a rule they 
neglect the last, or overcrowd the plants with other 
products. 

In Sarawak, Samarahan and Sadong the interior is 
inhabited by Land Dyaks, a very primitive race, who 
are, however, slowly advancing, while some, as those 
in Samarahan, must be getting rich, as a Resident 
reports seeing the girls dancing in silks and brocades, 
with strings of silver dollars hanging round their 
waists. It was a pleasure to read of this advance, as 
many previous accounts had pointed to a great deteri- 
oration in their condition. 

But the pride of Sarawak must always be the Sea 
Dyaks who live on the Batang Lupar, the Seribas and 
the right-hand branches of the Rejang. These were 
the destructive pirates of the coast, who put to sea in 
large fleets of fast vessels, and ravaged every district 
they could reach. When the expeditions of Captains 



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RAJAH BROOKE 213 

Keppel and Farquhar had put down their piracies at 
sea, and the land operations, principally conducted by 
the present Rajah, then chief Resident on the Batang 
Lupar, had subdued them in the interior, they began 
to look to other fields of activity. Even as early as 
1853 I sent a report home about their energetic work 
in the antimony mines. Now, they are the most in- 
dustrious of the collectors of jungle produce, and 
have spread wherever that is to be found, whether in 
the interior of the Rejang, Baram, or Limbang districts. 
One hears of them also in the territories of the British 
North Borneo Company, where they should be 
welcome immigrants, not only on account of their 
industry, but of their readiness to support the estab- 
lished Government. Owing to this last amiable trait 
in their character they have been recalled by the Sara- 
wak Government under the penalty, in case of dis- 
obedience, of being declared outlaws. This was a 
mistake, as they would be equally useful to the North 
Borneo Company, which is combating lawlessness as 
much as the Sarawak Government, and among a far 
more dangerous population. In looking over my Sara- 
wak correspondence I find that they were accused of 
acting against the regulations of the Company, par- 
ticularly in the interior of Padas, but this appears to 
have arisen from the foolish restrictions placed on the 
Dyaks and others by the subordinate officers in that 
district, which were strongly condemned by the Resi- 
dent at Labuan, the late Mr Maxwell, a man of re- 



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214 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

markable intelligence and experience, the latter acquired 
when in the Sarawak service. 

These Sea Dyaks even ventured across the China 
Sea, and sought for jungle produce throughout the 
Malay Peninsula, but I hear that they also have been 
recalled, why or wherefore it is difScult even to guess. 
In reading through these Gazettes^ I have come across 
references to a Dyak selling gutta-percha in Singapore 
for J 1 200 ; to another having disposed of produce in 
the bazaar to the amount of $1500 ; and to a prahu 
being swamped with J2000 worth of goods or cash on 
board. These Dyaks are indeed a valuable population. 

The next to be noticed are the Milanaus, who live 
at the mouths of the rivers Rejang, Oya and Muka, 
and are apparently a race apart. They are perhaps a 
little more industrious than the Malays, and devote 
themselves to planting and roughly manufacturing 
sago. A portion of this population has been converted 
to Mohammedanism, whilst the rest cannot bring 
themselves to abandon pork. 

In the far interior of the Rejang^the Bintulu, and all 
through the Baram districts, are the numerous tattooed 
tribes, as the Kayans and the Kineahs ; the mongrel 
villagers called Kanowitsj and the wildest of wild tribes, 
the Punans and Pakatans. As yet none of these tribes 
have made their mark either in the field of battle or in 
any industry, except in the working of iron ores or 
their products, but it is comparatively lately that they 
have come under the influence of the English. The 



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RAJAH BROOKE 215 

Sarawak Government appears to have a very intelli- 
gent Resident in Baram, Mr Hose. 

The Chinese will no doubt gradually fill up the 
different districts of Sarawak, but the progress is slow. 
They do not seem to take kindly to Borneo in general, 
probably because wages are low, the native seldom 
receiving more than twenty-five cents or sixpence a 
day, though the wages of the Chinese are doubtless 
considerably higher. In many villages, however, where 
they are permitted to settle, you will be sure to find 
Chinese shopkeepers, who carry on a thriving trade. 
They have the reputation of not being very honest 
dealers, as false weights are too often resorted to, in 
order to enable them to pay a price nominally higher 
than the market rate, which renders fair competi- 
tion impossible. I could never understand why 
restrictions were so often placed on their settlement 
among the interior tribes, except where the Dyaks 
themselves objected to their presence. It is true they 
are not very honest, but in my time we found the 
natives a match for them in this line, as they used to 
insert stones into the. large lumps of gutta-percha. As 
might be expected from the low class of Chinese who 
immigrate into Sarawak, the principal occupants of the 
prisons are found among their ranks. 

Limbang and Trusan, to the north of the Sultan's 
capital, are the latest acquisitions of Sarawak. They 
contain a mixed population of ICadayans, Muruts and 
Bisayas, with no very marked characteristics. 



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2i6 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

I am loath to write anything which may appear as 
an adverse criticism of the conduct of the present 
Rajah, with whom I have been friends for over fifty 
years, but unless we are to adopt the principle that ' the 
end justifies the means,' it is difficult to approve the 
action of Sarawak in seizing by force any part of the 
Sultan's dominions. A little gentle, persevering diplo- 
macy would have secured Limbang without violating 
any principle of international law. I am convinced, 
however, that the present Rajah was deceived by 
someone as to the political position of that district, 
as he wrote that, for four years previous to his action, 
Limbang was completely independent of the Sultan, 
which his officers subsequently found was not the case. 

The Sultan is the Suzerain Lord of all the posses- 
sions of the present Rajah, with the doubtful exception 
of Sarawak Proper, and Great Britain is the Protector 
of Sarawak and Brunei alike, yet the Sarawak Gazette^ 
the official organ of its Government, thus refers to the 
Brunei under British protection : ^ Brunei has long been 
a disgrace, a blot on the map of Borneo. There murder 
and robbery thrive, and criminals from all around find 
a refuge from the punishment merited by their evil 
deeds, with the knowledge and sanction of the Sultan, 
and under the protection of the British flag.' 

To use an expressive, but not very elegant, phrase, 
the writer has * let the cat out of the bag.' It is pro- 
bably true that the British Government would not 
permit Sarawak to seize Brunei and depose the Sultan, 



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RAJAH BROOKE 217 

but there are other and more peaceful means of putting 
an end to Brunei, if it be the sink of iniquity described. 
Already the Kadayans are taking up their permanent 
residence in Baram under the Sarawak flag, and many 
Borneans and Kadayans are moving to Limbang ; while 
a certain number have already established themselves 
in Padas under the flag of the North Borneo Com- 
pany. By degrees the population of the capital will 
completely disperse and settle in the surrounding 
districts, and the capital will cease to exist as a 
centre of authority. 

That the inhabitants of Limbang rejoiced to be 
placed under the protection of the Sarawak flag there 
can be no doubt. I knew them well, and how they 
suflFered from the exactions of the Pangerans and their 
rapacious followers, and no one would have more 
rejoiced than myself to hear they had been put under 
Sarawak rule in a less forcible way. As poverty in- 
creased in Brunei, so had the exactions augmented, 
and Limbang, being near, suffered the most. Perhaps 
some of my readers may think that in this case * the 
end did justify the means.' At all events, that appears 
to have been the view taken by our own Foreign Office. 

As far as I can judge from the notices in the 
Sarawak Ga%ette^ and from my private correspond- 
ence, neither the Missions nor education have made 
much progress, though there are schools at the 
capital, and both the Anglicans and the Roman 
Catholics have establishments in the country. The 



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ii8 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

Mission schools appear to educate from two to three 
hundred pupils, but HttJe is evidently done at the 
out-stations, and the Dyaks in general are left to 
themselves, although at one time the field appeared 
most promising. I fear that the explanation is that 
the true missionary spirit is dead in our Church. It is 
no longer looked upon as a field for talent, and those 
who would not pass muster in an English parish are 
sent off to vegetate in a Bornean out-station, where 
their influence is nil. 

I notice it reported in a private letter that the 
Catholic Mission is the more prosperous, as it appears 
to be well provided with money, erects substantial 
buildings, and has a very competent staff. 

How little the influence of European rule touches 
the inner life and belief of the native, whatever may 
be his race ! I remember being in Singapore at the 
time the Government was building a new church, 
when it was reported that the convicts were seizing 
people at night and murdering them in order to bury 
their heads under the foundations of the new building. 
A panic prevailed for a considerable time, and natives 
only ventured out in strong parties. And this occurred 
in a British settlement after our Government had 
been established there over thirty years. I discussed 
this unaccountable panic with my Chinese butler, 
who spoke English well, and had lived all his life in 
European families. His only answer to my repeated 
questions was that he hoped it was not true, that he 



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RAJAH BROOKE 219 

did not know, but he understood it was generally 
believed. Our missionaries in China have the same 
experience. 

Another intelligent native remarked that the 
English must have been a barbarous race, as formerly 
they sacrificed a human victim every time they pre- 
pared to take the sacrament, but that in more 
modern days they had become more civilised, as 
they now only sacrificed dogs, a reference to the 
periodical destruction in British settlements of all 
stray animals. What a perverse interpretation of 
missionary teaching ! 

After fifty years of English rule in Sarawak a similar 
panic occurred. I will quote the Sarawak Gazette 
of September i, 1894: ^Some months back a most 
unaccountable scare took possession of the Asiatic 
population of Sarawak Proper — Malays, Chinese, 
Dyaks and others being similarly aflFected. It was at 
first rumoured that the Government required human 
heads to place under the foundations of the new high 
level reservoir at the waterworks, and that men were 
sent out at night to procure these. . . . Other 
equally absurd stories followed and were fully believed, 
many natives going so &r as to assert that they had 
met with these head hunters about the native town 
at night. The people no longer ventured out after 
dark ; coolies whose work would preclude their return 
to their own homes at night were unobtainable, not 
a boat could be obtained to cross the river after dark. 



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220 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

and the majority of persons whose business took 
them further than the limits of the bazaar, carried 
arms.' 

The entire article is too long to quote ; the panic 
spread all along the coast, invaded the Dutch terri- 
tories, and found its way to the furthest out-stations. 
Numerous murders were really committed, and at 
first the natives were afraid to report them. Gradually, 
however, people camci^to their senses, but only to 
fall into another panic, on the ground that robbers 
were wandering under the Malay houses, which are 
built on piles, and stabbing at the inmates from below. 
A few deaths from this cause did, in fact, occur, 
which gave an excuse for the alarm, and some 
ingenious thieves bored holes through boxes resting 
on the floor and extracted their contents. It must be 
remembered that these floors are not of planks, but 
of laths of the nibong palm with interstices between 
them, and are generally covered over with matting. 

It is almost incredible that people who had been 
governed by the old Rajah and his successor, and 
governed in the most benevolent and generous manner 
for over fifty years, should have believed that their 
rulers could be capable of seeking their heads to bury 
under the foundations of the new waterworks. It 
appears as if there were no common ground on which 
the intellect of the white and coloured races can meet ; 
they never understand us and we shall probably never 
fully understand them. 



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RAJAH BROOKE 221 

Finance has never been the strong point of the 
Sarawak Government. 

The Revenue in 1876 (Exchange 4s.) . ;^36,636 
w « 5> 1896 ( „ 2s.) . 49,376 

The treasurer's financial statement for the year, 
1896, is too full of trivial details to be satisfactory, 
but the tables which are published in the same number 
of the Gazette enable one to form a very clear idea of 
the financial state of the country. 

The * farms' are the most important source of revenue, 
and those that are legitimate are the opium and spirit 
farms ; the gambling farm is no doubt suitable to the 
Chinese, and discourages play among the Malays and 
Dyaks. But the objectionable farms are the pork, 
the fish and the pawnbroking. The pork farm was 
abolished in 1896, as it was found to restrict the supply 
of good pieat, and raise its price to the industrious 
Chinese labourer, who could only obtain an inferior 
article, while it brought in but little to the revenue. 
The Government slaughter-houses are as profitable, 
and do not interfere so much with trade. The 
Gazette notices that after the abolition of this farm 
the supply of meat became more plentiful, and was of a 
much finer quality, with a reduction in price. The fish 
market is equally objectionable. The monopolists pay 
so poorly for the;supply, that, according to the Gazette^ 
the fishermen earned less than fourpence a day, whilst 
the price of fish was so raised that the Government im- 



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122 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

posed a maximum ; but this paternal measure did not 
answer, and it was repealed. The fish farm should go 
the way of the pork farm. There are also obvious 
objections to a pawnbroking ferm. A system of licenses 
would pay better, and be much less liable to abuse. 

Though the export duties on agricultural produce 
are light, they are unsound in principle, interfere 
with trade, and lessen the profit of the industrious 
steady planter ; and they only bring in about ^^2500 
a year. It would be better to add to the list of 
imports subject to duty. The probate duties are quite 
unsuited to a half or quarter civilised people, and must 
render the Residents unpopular with the best of the 
population. No sooner is the news received of the 
death of a Dyak chief than the nearest English 
officer has to start oflF to the spot to see that the 
Government dues are not evaded, and the wages, or 
their equivalent, of the boat's crew must often exceed 
the amount received. There is another tax which 
checks what might become a considerable industry — 
the duty on salt. This prevents any real development 
of the extensive fisheries of the coast, as not only is 
a necessary product taxed, but a duty is also raised 
on the exported salted fish, which has thus to bear a 
double weight. A bounty might be granted equivalent 
to the amount of the duty on the salt used. The 
stamp duty has only lately been imposed, and may 
possibly be useful in the administration of justice, but 
it will have to be worked with very great caution. 



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RAJAH BROOKE 223 

If the Borneo Company succeed with their new 
gold working machinery, and there is no apparent 
reason why they should not do so, the increase in 
the revenues may enable the Rajah to do away with 
or modify those taxes and duties, which impede 
commerce and hinder the progress of the country. 
It must have been uphill work to carry on the 
Government with revenues so inelastic. 

When I first arrived in Sarawak I do not think 
the cattle exceeded a dozen, and these were at a 
place about fourteen miles above the capital, and were 
very much neglected. At present we find cattle at 
every station, and English bulls are often imported to 
improve the breed. The natives also in several 
districts have cattle of their own, and under gentle 
pressure are paying more attention to them. I do 
not remember that during my long residence in 
Sarawak we had beef even once a year. 

The Sarawak courts are not influenced by maudlin 
pity, and punish by heavy fines all those who by care- 
lessness, or any action of their own, cause the death 
or wounding of any human being. Many casualties 
are said to occur from men supposing that a noise 
in the brushwood was caused by a wild beast, and 
firing at once and thus slaying a fellow hunter ; these 
never escape deserved punishment. The setting of 
traps to kill pig or deer often caused the infliction of 
injuries or even death on the unwary, and the setter 
suffered in consequence. I wish this system of 



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224 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

punishing wanton carelessness were introduced into 
English practice. We might then hear of fewer cases 
of criminally careless people presenting guns at their 
friends, and, when a fatal result follows, saying glibly 
that they thought the weapon was not loaded. 

In outlying stations, the killing for the purpose of 
securing heads would have been a very constant 
practice had not the present Rajah sternly resolved to 
insist on the death penalty whenever the culprits 
belonged to tribes who thoroughly understood the 
law ; whilst upon others who had but recently come 
under the sway of Sarawak, and were still almost in 
the savage state, he was content to impose heavy 
fines. This judicious administration of justice is 
having a very salutary eflFect, and will gradually ex- 
tinguish the evil. 

It sounds curious to read of both parties in a 
case being fined, but very often both are to blame in a 
greater or less degree, and are punished in proportion. 
But what must have taxed a Resident's gravity was the 
hearing a case of two privates in the Sarawak Rangers, 
accused of working a charm, in order to compass the 
death of an ex-comrade, and fining the victim as well 
as the culprits. 

The Rajah is kept well informed as to what passes 
throughout his extensive territories, as he insists on 
the Residents and Assistant Residents sending monthly 
reports of all occurrences in each of their districts, and 
I understand that every one of them also keeps a diary 



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RAJAH BROOKE 



225 



of events. This methodical system must be very 
iiseful to the Government. The reports from Baram 
and Limbang are especially interesting, and I could 
have wished them fuller. 

For the information of those who may desire to 
enter the Sarawak service, or are interested in the 
subject, I will mention the salaries which were fixed 
from January i, 1898. I may premise by saying 
that I have taken the dollar to represent two shillings, 
the exchange value, but that by no means represents 
its local value, as prices and wages in dollars have not 
increased in anything like the proportion of the fall 
in the exchange. In some cases wages do not 
appear to have increased much since my time, 
when the dollar was always worth more than four 
shillings. 

Maximum Salaries in Sterling. 

Divisional Residents, . . j^540 per annum. 

With allowances from j^i20 to 240 „ 



Treasurer, . . . , 


480 


Second-Class Resident, 


360 


Medical Officer in charge, . 


420 


Assistant Residents, . 


240 


Cadets on joining. 


120 


Do., of one year's standing. 


144 


Postmaster, . . . . 


360 


Police Inspector, 


360 



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226 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

The treasurer, second-class Residents and medical 
oiEcer have also allowances, the amount of which is 
not stated ; military commandant, etc., according to 
respective agreements. Of course, to turn these 
salaries into dollars you have only to multiply by 
ten. 

The terms for furlough pay are very liberal, leave 
being generally granted on full pay, and the dollar 
valued at four shillings. Pensions are given, after 
thirty years' service, at the same rate of exchange, 
half pay for life — furloughs in Europe not included. 

I have remarked before how difficult it is to 
induce English ladies to associate with natives, but 
I have heard that the Ranee, Lady Brooke, has been 
in the habit of visiting the Malay ladies and re- 
ceiving their visits in return, and I noticed in one 
of the Gazettes that Mrs Maxwell, the wife of the 
late chief Resident, gave an elaborate picnic to the 
daughters of the principal Mala3rs. This is as it 
should be, and must have a good effect. It is interest- 
ing to read that cricket has been introduced among 
the native lads, and that some of them take to it with 
zest. 

I have noticed an occasional remark in the Gazette 
on the hostility displayed by Singapore towards Sara- 
wak. That there was in Sir James Brooke's time a 
great jealousy both of Sarawak and Labuan there can 
be no doubt. It was founded on a foolish idea that 
these two places might become centres of independ- 



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RAJAH BROOKE 227 

ent trade with Europe to the detriment of Singa- 
pore, The far-seeing knew that it would not be so, 
and that instead of being rivals they would become 
feeders of our great free-trade port, but it would seem 
that among a few of the narrow-minded this jealousy 
still exists. 

Among the dangers to life in Sarawak are the 
crocodiles or alligators. Some naturalists declare that 
one of the two species — I believe the latter — is not 
found in Asia, but I think that those who have had 
the measurement of those reptiles, to estimate the 
amount of reward for their destruction, must have 
noticed that there are apparently two species — one 
very broad in the head, the other very long and 
narrow. It is true we never examined their teeth, 
by which we might have distinguished them. It is 
said on good authority that there is a third species 
only found in fresh water, living for preference in 
the deep pools of the far inland reaches of the rivers. 
Sir Hugh Low saw them in the interior of the Rejang, 
and I often heard of them in Sarawak. I remarked 
to a native chief that it was curious that this species 
should have fixed its habitat away from the deep 
water. * Not more curious,' he answered, * than see- 
ing you white men in Borneo.' 

Whatever the true name of these brutes may be, 
the destruction of life traceable to them is consider- 
able. They seize people bathing on the banks of 
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228 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

their canoes. They will often swim on the surface 
of the water with their victims in their mouths, and 
the Gazette mentions one instance where the alli- 
gator appeared with the body on the second day. 
As they are called alligators in Borneo, I will not 
change their name. 

Many a tale of quiet heroism may be told con- 
nected with these attacks. One day a mother and 
daughter were paddling up the Linga river, when 
the former was snatched from the boat by an alligator. 
It did not attempt to sink with its victim, which gave 
time to the daughter to spring on its neck, and, lean- 
ing forward, she gouged out the eyes of the reptile, 
which instantly let go the mother and dived to the 
bottom of the stream. I have known of several in- 
stances of these heroic attempts to save relations. 

There was an alligator which created a panic 
among all those who had to pull by the entrance 
of the Siol stream on the Sarawak river, so many 
had been its victims. It was ultimately taken, and 
measured, it is said, over twenty-four feet in length. 

When I was living in Brunei a similar panic 
occurred. So many people were snatched from their 
boats that there was talk of a crusade being under- 
taken against the alligator which caused it. But as 
that did not come off, I proposed to my six boatmen 
that we should attempt the destruction of the brute. 
I armed my men with muskets, and I took for my 
own use a Minie rifle. We arranged that I should 

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RAJAH BROOKE 229 

have first shot, and if I missed, they were to fire a 
volley at the enemy. We pulled do\yn quietly to 
the haunted spot, and then floated with the stream. 
We had not been there many minutes when my 
head man said, * There he is.' I looked round, and 
all I could see were a pair of prominent eyes, a broad 
forehead and a streak of its back. It was coming 
at us with all its speed. I waited until it was within 
about twenty-five yards, and then fired. The heavy 
ball struck it between the eyes, then bounded off, 
and fell into the water many a yard away. There 
was great commotion as the alligator dived beneath 
the surface. My men, who had wonderfully sharp 
eyes, said that the bullet had torn the skin off the 
forehead, and that the beast must die, as the worms 
with which these waters swarm would get into the 
wound. A week or two subsequently, some fisher- 
men told me they had seen an immense alligator, at 
least twenty feet in length, lying on the mud bank 
of a small stream. All the flesh on its head and neck 
was rotting away, and it was evidently nearly dead, 
as it scarcely moved on their approach. At all events, 
the man-eater never appeared again. The largest 
alligator which I ever measured myself was only 
seventeen feet six inches long, but Sir Hugh Low 
tells me that he has himself measured one which 
touched twenty-six feet in length. 

I think it highly probable that hunger has driven 
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230 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

during the last few years. When the rinderpest was 
killing cattle in the Malay Peninsula, some similar 
disease attacked the wild pigs, and they died by 
hundreds. About the same time a like mortality 
occurred in Borneo. The principal food of the alli- 
gator is the wild pig, which is taken whilst swimming 
across the rivers in search of jungle fruits. When 
the pest occurred this supply of pork was much 
lessened, and the alligators became more voracious. 

The wild animals in Sarawak must be rapidly dis- ' 
appearing as cultivation and population increase, and 
also as a ready market is found for venison. Wild 
pig and various species of deer are the only animals 
which were ever plentiful in Sarawak. In its last 
acquired districts, however, such as Baram and Lim- 
bang, there are large herds of wild cattle — splendid 
beasts. 

This account of the present condition of Sarawak 
I feel to be very meagre, but I have been unable to 
obtain any information except from the Gazette^ 
which, being written for a special purpose, only enters 
into the minor details required to keep the superior 
officers informed of what is passing in the interior 
and at the out-stations. 

If the old Rajah could see the present state of his 
adopted country, he would have every reason to be 
proud of the results of his work, for although it has 
not become what he hoped — 2l second Java — it is 
progressing. As the present Rajah, Sir Charles 



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RAJAH BROOKE 231 

Brooke, was brought up to his work under the old 
influences, he has carried out the views and projects 
of his uncle in a very satisfactory manner, and it is 
only to be hoped that whenever his son may succeed 
him he may be thoroughly imbued with those tradi- 
tions which have secured the success of one of the 
most striking enterprises of modern times. 

The old Rajah relied entirely for his position in 
Borneo on the support of the natives themselves, and 
the present Rajah does nearly the same.^ They both 
had a corps of English officers (civilians) to aid them 
in governing the country, but the military forces are 
purely native, and these also constitute the bulk of 
the civilian employes, from the Datus, those valued 
members of the Supreme Council, to the humblest 
policeman. The more one reflects on the subject the 
more one is disposed to admire the system which has 
produced a unique Government, the like of which 
has never been seen before. But whilst we admire 
the system introduced by the old Rajah, we must not 
forget those who have so admirably carried it out, at 
the head of whom is the present Rajah, with his stafi^ 
of trustworthy assistants. 

' There are now a few Sikh police. 



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CHAPTER IX 

PRESENT CONDITION OF NORTH BORNEO LOVELY 

COUNTRY GOOD HARBOURS ON WEST COAST — 

FORMATION OF NORTH BORNEO COMPANY — 
PRINCIPAL SETTLEMENTS — TELEGRAPHIC LINES 

— THE RAILWAY FROM PADAS POPULATION 

—TOBACCO CULTIVATION — GOLD — THE PUBLIC 
SERVICE — THE POLICE OF NORTH BORNEO — 
METHODS OF RAISING REVENUE — RECEIPTS AND 
EXPENDITURE — TRADE RETURNS — EXPORTS — IN- 
TERFERENCE WITH TRADERS — ^A GREAT FUTURE 
FOR NORTH BORNEO 

To complete the survey of those countries, which, 
through the policy of Rajah Brooke, were ultimately 
brought under the influence and protection of 
England, I must devote a chapter to the British 
North Borneo Company. 

There is nothing grander or more lovely than the 
country which lies between our colony of Labuan and 
Marudu Bay, on the extreme north of the great 
island. I have sailed many times along that beautiful 

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RAJAH BROOKE 233 

coast, and have been lost in admiration at the variety 
of its scenery, from the soft outline of its well-wooded 
shores to the succession of ranges of undulating hills 
which form the background, until all are dwarfed 
by the magnificent mountain of Kina Balu, which 
towers above them. 

In our journeys towards this lofty mountain. Sir 
Hugh Low and I passed through a great variety of 
coimtry. Our first expedition took us from Abai Bay 
across a cultivated plain to the interior of the Tam- 
pasuk river, the low land extending for many miles on 
either side of the path we followed, and stretching 
for an indefinite distance ahead of us. Here the 
natives ride the water bufi^aloes, the oxen, the bulls and 
cows as they do horses in other countries. We took 
up our quarters for the night in the substantial house 
of a Bajau chief, an old friend of my fellow traveller, 
and next day we started inland, riding for many hours 
over a slightly undulating plain, which continued to the 
foot of the ranges of hills in front. We occasionally 
passed pretty villages, shaded by dense clumps of cocoa- 
nut palms and mango trees. The scene was magnifi- 
cent. When we reached the first low range the path 
became stony and very rough, so that we had to give up 
our horses and trust to our own feet, and most enjoy- 
able days they were, as we advanced along the banks 
of the Tampasuk, through fertile fields in fiiU culti- 
vation, the only inconvenience our having so con- 
stantly to ford the river. At length we turned from 



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2 34 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

the stream, climbing a steepish hill to the extensive 
village of Kiau, which is built on a sloping buttress 
of Kina Balu, about three thousand feet above the level 
of the sea. 

On our next visit to the mountain we started from 
Gaya Bay, then across the lake-like Mengkabong 
river, and after riding over a well-cultivated plain we 
climbed to the summit of the first range of hills, and 
then followed the ridges towards the mountain. No- 
thing could have been finer than the scenery. There 
was no forest, of which in Borneo one sometimes 
gets tired ; all the land was either under culti- 
vation or had been cultivated, ideal spots for 
coflFee plantations if the soil be suitable. We 
continued on the high land until we reached the 
Tampasuk river, when we followed the same path 
as we had taken on our previous journey. The 
weeks we spent on the great mountain were weeks 
of pleasure, and we explored many of its buttresses, 
and at length climbed again to its summit. Mr 
Alfred Wallace used to say that it was worth the 
journey to Borneo in order to eat the fresh fruit of 
the Durian, but I think the fatigues of the long 
voyage would be amply repaid by a visit to 
this lovely coast and an excursion to its great 
mountain. 

On one occasion we pitched our tents for a 
time on the western slope of Kina Balu, about five 
thousand feet above the sea, on a spot which was 



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RAJAH BROOKE 235 

fairly level for half a mile in length by a quarter in 
breadth. There were but few trees, the ground being 
rocky, but the stony surface was covered by beautiful 
nepenthes plants, with purple pitchers, which held as 
much as two quarts of water. From this elevation 
we could see over the ranges of hills we had passed in 
our journeys, the reaches of many rivers, the Tam- 
pasuk plain to the China Sea beyond. It would be a 
perfect site for a sanatorium. Roads would have to be 
made, then invalids and others would come to enjoy 
the healthy breezes, and gain strength to make excur- 
sions over the mountain. Forty years ago I recom- 
mended the Government of India to send the least 
guilty of their mutineers to the north-west coast, 
where they would have opened up a splendid country, 
and our camping ground would have furnished space 
for the barracks required for a garrison of English 
troops. 

In these da3rs when mountaineers are seeking new 
worlds to conquer, it may interest them to read the 
following short discription of our first joint expedition 
to Kina Balu. To ascend this splendid peak has, no 
doubt, been the desire of all those who have looked 
upon its noble proportions. Seen from the north-west, no 
grander effect can be conceived, as it rises sheer out of 
the plain and sweeps aloft until it attains the towering 
height of nearly fourteen thousand feet. Its grand 
precipices, its polished granite surfaces, glittering imder 
the bright tropical rays, the dashing cascades which 



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236 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

fall from a height so great that they dissolve in spray 
before they are lost in the dark valleys below, have a 
magical effect on the imagination, and I felt a longing, 
scarcely to be conceived, to explore its unknown 
beauties. No amount of fatigue, no suffering, no 
opposition could stop us when once we started from 
the coast, and the first time I reached the summit, it 
was with bare feet that left a red tinge on the rocks 
at every step. But all this was unnoticed as I viewed 
the grandeur of the scene around, the lofty peaks of 
every varied form, the magnificent slopes of apparently 
polished granite, the broad terraces, the cyclopean 
walls fringing the giddy precipices, the chasms, 
whose depths the eye could not penetrate. There 
was nothing that stopped our onward march, and 
no rest was sought until we reached the solitary 
southern peak and I had climbed to its very pin- 
nacle, and rested on a spot not a yard in breadth. 
Then, and only then, did the glow of triumph 
mantle in my cheeks as my eyes rested with satis- 
faction on the vast panorama spread out below. Un- 
fortunately misty clouds swept round the mountain 
obscuring the splendour of the scene, but they lent a 
powerful aid to the imagination, as through the rents 
in the fleecy curtain, rivers, mountains and villages 
were now visible, now hidden. And there, looking 
south, in the distance high above all, with nothing 
but the thin air between, rose another peak, so lofty 
that it was impossible to estimate its distance. 



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RAJAH BROOKE 237 

In that rarefied air remote objects appear near, and 
the voice can be heard without an effort through 
a space which in the plains below it could not 
penetrate. 

I had never before attained so great a height, and 
never before had I seen such flowers so brilliant and 
so numerous. There were rhododendrons of the 
brightest scarlet, or blood colour, or rosy pink, in 
bunches of forty blossoms, covering trees twenty feet 
in height. And not single trees, but masses of 
rhododendrons in sheltered nooks, literally bending 
beneath the weight of their flowers. And how 
marvellous were the shapes of the nepenthes, how 
beautiful in colour, how delicate in form ! 

Fourteen thousand feet does not appear very lofty 
for a mountain, but from the north-west you see the 
whole gigantic form without the intervention of other 
summits. In Bolivia I have looked at heights rising 
to over twenty-five thousand feet, but you observe them 
from plains twelve thousand feet above the sea; in 
Mexico, the highest volcano reaches to about nine- 
teen thousand feet, but then it is usually seen from 
the capital, itself at seven thousand five hundred 
feet ; and the same with the highest European 
mountains. 

Sir Hugh Low and I were for many years the only 
real explorers of these mountains, and I feel a sort 
of paternal interest in the British North Borneo 
Company, as Sir Alfred Dent once informed me 



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238 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

that it was my work, Life in the Forests of the Far 
Easty which first suggested the idea of acquiring the 
north-west coast for a governing and developing 
company. 

The north-west coast possesses two very important 
harbours. Gaya Bay has often been recommended 
as a naval station to command the China Seas. It 
certainly offers every facility, and would be a port of 
refuge in war time for our mercantile marine. In 
many respects, however, the Port of Labuan is more 
suitable for all purposes, as it not only has an excellent 
anchorage easily defended, but it is well supplied with 
coal from mines on the island itself, and is opposite 
the terminus of the trans-Bornean railway, now in 
course of construction, which would bring down full 
supplies of cattle and provisions from the fertile dis- 
tricts of Padas and Kalias. It has also the advantage 
of having the whole of Brunei Bay enclosed by terri- 
tory under English protection, with the Sarawak 
Government coal mines at Muara, and the pro- 
ductive rivers of Limbang and Trusan to add to 
its supplies. 

Labuan is administered, with the sanction of our 
Government, by the British North Borneo Company, 
and is likely to be one of the most flourishing of its 
possessions, as it is not only connected by telegraph 
lines with Singapore and Hong Kong, a through British 
line, but it must increase in consequence in these days 
of wars and rumours of wars. 



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RAJAH BROOKE 239 

Sir Alfred Dent acquired through an agent the 
concession of the north-west coast of Borneo from 
the Sultan of Brunei, though with some important 
exceptions, now in process of being handed over 
to the Company, as well as the north-east coast, 
which during the last century had been ceded to 
England by a Sultan of Sulu, but which we had left 
unoccupied ; all necessary arrangements were made 
with the government of those islands. These con- 
cessions were first worked by a Provisional Association, 
and were, in 1881, taken over by the newly-formed 
North Borneo Company on very onerous terms, 
which, at the present day, it would be useless to 
criticise, but which left the directors with insufficient 
working capital to push development with any 
vigour. 

It is not necessary to trace in any detail the history 
of the Company during the last seventeen years. My 
object being rather to give a general view of its 
present condition. I may remark, however, to 
account for its still backward state, that its progress 
was much impeded by a want of knowledge, on the 
part of both the chairman and the directors, of the 
country they were chosen to administer. Within these 
last few years this defect has been rectified, and 
we may now confidently expect that progress will 
be more rapid. 

The north-east coast of Borneo presents a great 
contrast to that of the north-west, as the land 



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240 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

lies low, but is in general very fertile. As long ago 
as 1852 we marched through the district of 
Tungku on Darvel Bay, and could not but 
admire the splendid crops which covered the earth, 
and the vigour of the growth of the palms and 
fruit trees. 

The principal settlements of the North Borneo 
Company are Labuan, Padas, Kalias and Sandakan. 
To Labuan I have already referred. As a centre of 
native trade it is likely to become important, and 
Victoria Harbour is often crowded with steamers 
anxious to secure coal. Its unhealthy stage appears 
to have passed away ; in fact, the whole of North 
Borneo may be looked upon as fairly healthy, for 
although on the north-east coast there are many 
districts where fever is prevalent (an incident 
common to every tropical country when the jungle 
is first cut down), yet this malaria disperses in 
time. 

Next to Labuan lie the districts of Padas and 
Kalias, well filled with an agricultural population, 
quiet and fairly industrious. Their principal industry is 
the cultivation of the sago palm and pepper. Padas 
had been chosen as the starting point of the telegraph 
line, which has been carried across the country to 
Sandakan Bay, a distance of three hundred miles. It 
does not appear to work very successfully, as it is 
liable to constant interruption from the wires being 
broken by falling trees. My experience of Bornean 



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RAJAH BROOKE 241 

forests is that trees seldom fall even during the 
fiercest storms if their supports are left untouched. 
The finest forest trees, except the Tapang, have 
most of their roots running along the surface of the 
ground, and have a very poor hold, but they are 
supported in their positions by innumerable creepers, 
which vary in size from those resembling a ship's 
cable in diameter to the most delicate rattan. Cut 
these braces and the tree is liable to fall. This is 
so well known to the natives that, when clearing old 
forests, they only cut the principal trees partly 
through, except a line of the outermost ones, which 
are hacked until they give signs of falling. The whole 
line then comes down, dragging to the earth all the 
trees partially cut through, as if they were bound 
together by cords, instead of by Nature's cables. It is 
probably the cutting of the telegraphic line through 
the forest which has weakened the natural supports, 
and so the trees fall. If any other telegraph line be run 
it would be worth while trying to make the forest trees 
serve instead of poles, as these appear to have rotted 
within the first year. 

From the occasional notices in the Herald^ the 
North Borneo official paper, it would appear that the 
line was cut most of the way through primeval forest, 
thus opening out millions of acres of virgin land for 
agriculturists to develop. When the existence of 
this line is thoroughly understood, and its working 
can be ensured, it will no doubt induce those ships 

Q 



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242 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

which trade between Australia and China to call in at 
Sandakan. Had the line been reliable, no doubt the 
Spaniards of the Philippines would have used it, in order 
to telegraph to their Government, instead of going 
all the way round to Labuan. . 

But the great experiment in Borneo is the railway. 
It starts from what may be termed the Padas district, 
at a point on the coast called Bukau, and the first 
section is to the Penotal Gorge, about fifty miles in 
the interior on the way to the east coast. Its course, 
as traced on the map, will take it well south of east, 
and it will have its terminus in Santa Lucia Bay. I 
have seen no reason given why it should not be taken 
to Sandakan, the headquarters of the Company, and 
a first-class harbour. It appears a mistake to lessen 
the importance of the capital, unless there are strong 
commercial reasons, depending on the tobacco 
plantations, for diverting its course through an un- 
known country, close to the Dutch frontiers. 

If this railway succeed it will open a new era in 
Bornean development ; and it should succeed, as, with 
liberal land laws, foreigners and natives will settle 
along the line and form plantations. But who are 
the inhabitants beyond the Penotal Gorge ? They are 
mentioned once or twice in the course of the reports 
as Muruts or Dusuns, who will no doubt ^ork jungle 
produce as soon as they find a profitable market ; in 
feet, they are doing so now to a small extent. If the 
promises made to the Company be kept, and sawmills 



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RAJAH BROOKE 243 

be erected near the western terminus, then the timber 
trade will give profitable employment to the railway. 
Neither timber nor jungle produce, however, will make 
a railway pay, and therefore the Company must be 
prepared to support cultivators and planters all along 
the line, and the money will be well and profitably 
employed. They have themselves started an experi- 
mental plantation at Sapong, where tobacco and other 
products are cultivated with very fair success, and this 
will encourage others. I shall watch the progress of 
this railway with the greatest interest, and though 
there will be many complaints at its slow progress, 
yet if capital can be found to finish it, it must prove of 
great benefit to the Company. It is satisfactory to 
learn, from the latest reports, that the natives are 
flocking to its neighbourhood, and that they have 
already cleared the land for a width of three miles on 
either side of the line. 

Gaya Bay has so lately come under the direct 
control of the Company that nothing has been done 
yet for its development, but only some of its smaller 
harbours can be expected to be touched at first. 
Nearly all the districts in its neighbourhood are, how- 
ever, fairly populated, and there is considerable cultiva- 
tion on the rivers Patatan, Ananam and Kabatuan. 

Kudat, on Marudu Bay, appears at one time to have 
been chosen for the Governor's headquarters, but it 
showed no promise of rapid development, and they 
have now been transferred to Sandakan. There is. 



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244 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

however, a good deal of cultivation going on, and among 
the immigrants are several hundred Chinese Christians 
called Hakkas, who appear to have fled from the 
persecution of their heathen brethren. These are 
likely to be a permanent population and should be 
encouraged, as they are sure to support the 
Government. 

The most important settlement on the mainland of 
Borneo, within the Company's grants, is Sandakan. 
It is a fine bay, fairly healthy, with excellent sites for a 
town, and is connected by a water passage with the 
important river of Kina Batangan, from which a short 
road leads to the gold workings of Sigama. Its in- 
habitants already muster, I understand, about three 
thousand, and it has the principal Government offices, 
a church, a club, an hotel and some rideable roads. 
It only wants coal to render it an important port of 
call, and this is said to have been found not far from 
the town, and is about to be worked. 

The inhabitants of the districts imder the sway of 
the Company are of many different races. The bulk 
of the population are Dusuns or Ida^, very much like 
the better class of the Land Dyaks of Sarawak. They 
are easily governed, and among them head hunting is 
a tradition rather than a practice, as only in one village 
that Sir Hugh Low and I visited did we find a head 
house, or any skulls hung up to the rafters, as is 
commonly the case in the communities south of 
the Baram. We stayed in their villages on several 



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RAJAH BROOKE 245 

occasions, and formed a very favourable opinion of 
the people. 

The above remarks are based upon our observations 
made in 1858, but, if Mr John Whitehead is not 
mistaken, these races must have greatly deteriorated, 
as he writes a good deal about the practice of head 
hunting among them in 1888. When we were there 
we heard like reports and met many parties of armed 
Dusuns, who were said to be on the war-path, but as at 
the same time we also met numerous parties of Dusun 
men, women and children carrying tobacco to the coast 
villages through what was said to be an enemy's 
country, we did not pay much attention to such 
statements. We saw also small parties of women and 
children working in the fields miles away from their 
villages, which could not occur if there were any real 
danger from hostile tribes. Either Mr Whitehead 
was deceived by similar stories to those which were 
constantly dinned into our ears, or the Dusuns have 
sadly deteriorated. These stories of enemies were 
fabricated chiefly with the object of preventing our 
visiting neighbouring villages. 

I am afraid we should find great changes if we 
returned to Kina Balu, as Mr Whitehead mentions 
that the Company have found it necessary to send 
punitive expeditions against these Dusuns. I trust, 
however, that this is a mistake. 

The next in importance to the Dusuns from their 
numbers are the Bajaus, who are still often called 



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246 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

Sea Gipsies from their wandering habits, but many 
thousands of them have abandoned their old custom 
of living in boats and have settled on the lake-like 
Mengkabong river and in many other places along 
the north-west coast, until you reach Tampasuk, 
where, a few miles inland, they are numerous. The 
Bajaus are also to be found on the north and east 
coasts, and are there deemed a very useful class, as 
fishermen and collectors of sea produce for export to 
the China market. 

The Lanuns, of marauding celebrity, lived formerly 
on the Lower Tampasuk and Padasan rivers, but since 
their pirate settlements were routed out by Sir 
Thomas Cochrane in 1846, they have gradually 
abandoned the coast, and retired to their own country, 
the great island of Mindanau. Probably a few who 
have intermarried with the Bajaus may still be left. 
They were a gallant, courteous people, but too lawless 
for our times. 

On the north-east coast there is a very mixed 
population of people from the Sulu Islands — some 
Malays, many Bajaus, and since the advent of the 
Company, several Chinese and a few Europeans and 
Madrasees. 

In Padas and Kalias and on the rivers to the south 
of Patatan, there are many Malays from Brunei ; 
Kadayans, who are probably aborigines converted to 
Islam 5 many descendants of the ancient Chinese colony, 
who can still speak their old language, but dress and 



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RAJAH BROOKE 247 

live like other natives of the island. From these curious 
mixtures of races are derived the industrious agri- 
culturists of those districts. 

The native Borneans of whatever race have shown 
no power to augment the population. The deaths 
appear almost to equal the births, but that may 
arise from the great neglect of the children, and the 
inability of the natives to combat epidemics — small- 
pox and cholera sometimes sweeping them oiF by 
thousands. These causes of depopulation may lessen 
under the influence of civilisation, but not to a very 
great extent. 

The Company will have therefore to depend on the 
Chinese, and perhaps on the Japanese, for the future 
popubtion, as their industry is undoubted, and the 
teeming millions of the parent countries can supply 
endless recruits. But it would be dangerous to rely 
upon these hard-working but turbulent people alone, 
and therefore a mixture of Javanese, Boyans and Tamils 
would be very desirable. 

The Company have very rightly based their 
prosperity on agriculture, and have done much to 
encourage subsidiary associations in their efforts to 
cultivate tobacco, and in some respects with very 
great success, as the produce has been of first-rate 
quality and fetches very high prices. In fact, the soil 
appears particularly adapted to this valuable plant, 
but, as always occurs when any new business is started, 
insufficient capital, and managers without any idea of 



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248 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

economical working, nearly wrecked this promising 
industry. It now appears to have passed this trying 
stage and established itself on a firm basis, and its 
prospects are excellent. 

The soil of the east coast, and many districts of 
the west, appears suited to every tropical cultivation. 
CoflFee, both Liberian and Asiatic, grows with astonish- 
ing vigour, even yielding fruit in the third year. In 
other countries the best coSee is grown on hills at 
least three thousand feet above the sea level, and 
planters in Borneo may find it worth their while to 
attend to this. It is in favour of planters that all the 
products they have essayed have flourished for genera- 
tions before the advent of the Company. Coffee is 
found in the hills round the capital. I sent home 
excellent specimens of cotton grown on the north- 
west coast as long ago as in the Fifties, and Saba 
tobacco was famous and much preferred to the 
Javanese by all the natives of Brunei. We noticed at 
Kiau, on Kina Balu, how carefully the Dusuns 
cultivated their tobacco, keeping the fields perfectly 
clean. Pepper was grown by the Chinese throughout 
the last century, so that none of these products are 
experiments. They have simply to be grown by ex- 
perienced managers, instead of by the careless native 
methods. 

As yet the search for minerals has not been 
successful. Gold has been found in many districts, 
but has not hitherto been worked so as to prove a 



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RAJAH BROOKE 249 

mercantile success. As, however, alluvial gold has been 
collected in several streams, the quartz reefe will yet 
be found, as in Sarawak, where, after more than fifty 
years of expectation, machinery has been erected to 
crush the stone. A small company has been formed 
in London to work the gold found in the sand and 
gravel banks in the Sigama river, which will be raised 
from its bed by a dredging machine. The latest 
accounts are that the dredger is already above the 
rapids, and had commenced working. There is 
nothing in the world like gold to attract population. 

The geological formation of the great mountain 
of Kina Balu, and its surrounding ranges, would appear 
to offer a grand field for geologists, but it is a difiicult 
country to explore, except where the sandstones check 
vegetation, but these last-named strata are never pro- 
lific in minerals. 

Since the North Borneo Company has had a business 
man at their head, and there is a better knowledge of 
Borneo among the directors, it appears to be going 
the right way to work to develop the country. It 
has made some necessary roads ; the electric telegraph, 
though not at present very important in itself, has 
opened up the interior and shown what may be 
expected fi-om pushing on the railway through this as 
yet undeveloped country. 

The territory of the State of North Borneo is 
under the rule of a governor, Mr Beaufort, chosen by 
the Court of Directors, and under him are many 



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2 so BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

Residents and sub-ofEcers who administer the afiairs 
in the various districts. As the Herald appears to 
pubh'sh only risumis of the reports from the diflFerent 
stations, it is difficult to form any idea of the capacity 
of the officials or the manner in which they perform 
their work, but, on the whole, I should say it was 
satisfactory. However, there is nothing more difficult 
than to find men to manage natives so as to gain their 
confidence. As a rule the higher the class from 
which they are chosen, the greater chance there is 
of their success. 

The State of North Borneo has an armed police, 
which only numbers four himdred, for their very 
extensive territory, and it proves how amenable the 
natives must be to authority that they can keep com- 
parative order. The few outbreaks which have occurred 
have been easily suppressed, though as yet it is uncertain 
what will be the future conduct of the last rebel, Mat 
Sali, and his gang. If terms have been made with him 
which will in the future keep him quiet, so much the 
better for all. A portion of the North Borneo armed 
police consists of Sikhs. It is difficult to exaggerate the 
admirable conduct of these men during the difficult 
operations against Mat Sali. In the attacks on his 
fort their behaviour was simply splendid, and their 
English officers, both civil and military, were indeed 
well worthy to lead such men. It is to be regretted 
that their brave commandant, Jones, was killed. It is 
easy to criticise the desperate onslaught, and say it was 



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RAJAH BROOKE 251 

foolhardy, but it is by such gallant contempt of odds 
that the Empire has been won, and that we can record 
with pride * the Deeds which made the Empire.' And 
all this goes on in an almost forgotten part of the 
world, as a mere matter of duty, without any idea 
on the part of these brave fellows that their 
countrymen will ever hear of their noble conduct. 
Wherever the Sikhs and their English officers may 
be, we may feel assured of good work being done, 
as, for instance, in East Africa, with the late 
Lieutenant Alston and his dashing followers. 

The revenue is raised in British North Borneo 
generally on the lines adopted in other Eastern 
possessions. The principal source of income is derived 
from * farms.' The most important are those of 
opium and spirits. They are the easiest and best 
methods of raising revenue, as they only touch the 
weaknesses or the vices of the Chinese, and are gener- 
ally highly productive ; and, where the authorities are 
not amenable to the influence of ignorant but well- 
meaning fanatics, the gambling farm is not only 
productive but has a good moral effect, as experi- 
ence has proved that the evil is lessened by being con- 
centrated at spots imder the surveillance of the police. 
The ferms of pork and fish, and in a lesser degree, 
perhaps, the pawnbroking, are liable to great objec- 
tions. The pork farm might be suppressed and public 
slaughter-houses established, as is done now in Sarawak ; 
and pawnbroker's licenses might be substituted for that 



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2 52 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

farm, which, in practice, proves so onerous to the poor. 
The fish farm should be suppressed and an open 
market substituted. As there is no clear financial 
statement published, I am aware that I may be criti- 
cising in the dark. 

Duties on imports are often necessary, and export 
duties on timber and jungle produce are very defensible, 
as someone aptly remarked that the collectors only 
reap the harvest without having been put to the 
trouble or expense of sowing or planting, and some- 
one must pay for the protection they all enjoy. As a 
rule, however, duties on agricultural products should 
be avoided. The tax on nibongs and attaps is some- 
thing quite original, can produce but a trifle, and 
must be excessively annoying to the natives, as these 
are the building materials of their houses. 

I will now give the receipts and expenditure in 
North Borneo for the five years 1893-7, as the receipts 
are now normal, and not aflFected by the speculative 
rush of planters and others, who disbursed money 
without a thought of the morrow : — 





Income. 


Expenditure, 


1893. 


• ;C3i>34S 


^^30,338 


1894, 


3hS59 


28,818 


189s, 


37,07s 


33,266 


1896, 


42,841 


33,015 


1897, 


• 43,778 


• •• 



As far as it goes this is a satisfactory increase in the 

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RAJAH BROOKE 253 

revenue, but is a mere bagatelle if we consider the 
vast territory from which it is produced. But no 
striking increase can take place until the Chinese feel 
thoroughly at home there. That North Borneo was 
once very popular with them is attested by all the 
accounts we gather from travellers and from native 
tradition. The very names show how they influenced 
the country. We have Kina Benua, the Chinese land ; 
Kina Balu, the Chinese widow, the name of the 
great mountain 5 Kina Batangan, the Chinese river 
(in the written annals of the Court of Brunei, it is 
mentioned that a Chinese kingdom was established 
on that river) ; then we have Kina Taki and Kina 
Bangun, the names of small streams in the north. 
This shows how numerous the Chinese must have been 
in this territory. The causes of their disappearance 
are obscure, but may be readily imagined. Bad govern- 
ment in Brunei, the increase of piracy, the cutting off 
of the junks, the risings against oppression by this 
imwarlike race led to massacres ; in fact, these causes 
are clear from the accounts of the natives. But where 
the Chinese have once been, they will come again. 
It must be uphill work trying to extract taxes 
from natives, who, though they are accustomed to 
be robbed and plundered by their own rulers, are very 
unwilling to pay even the smallest regular impost. 
The Sarawak Malays do so readily with their capi- 
tation tax, as that payment frees them from the 
liability of being called out for military service, and 



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2 54 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

the more civilised and industrious they become, the 
more they appreciate this freedom from liability. 
The capitation tax is a just one, though often it 
requires great caution in its collection to avoid 
discontent. As a rule it should not be collected in 
those districts in which the Company have no per- 
manent officers located. Flying visits often do more 
harm than good. It is difficult to see how any 
addition can be made to the taxation. The State of 
Borneo must trust to the gradual development of the 
country and to the increase of its population, but all 
trammels on the free circulation of traders should be 
removed. 

It is evident from the trade returns of North 
Borneo that the country is progressing. Take the 
statistics for the same five years : — 





Imports. 


Exports. 


1893. 


11,116,714 


11,780,593 


1894, . 


1,329,066 


1,698,543 


1895, 


1,663,906 


2,130,600 


1896, 


1,882,188 


M73,753 


1897, 

1 1 11 


1,887,498 

. 1 ^i_ 


2,942,293 

^ ,1. '11? 



The dollar is now only worth two shillings. I do 
not know if these returns include those of our 
Colony of Labuan. I believe not, as no mention is 
made of the export of coal in the detailed lists. 

Tobacco is the most important article of export. 



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RAJAH BROOKE 255 

There are several companies busily engaged in de- 
veloping this industry, as the Bornean leaf has now 
taken a high position in the markets, and its quality 
is excellent. It not only furnishes the leaves used 
as wrappers, but as a smoking tobacco it has met 
with much favour. The principal plantations are in 
the north-eastern coast, near the river Kina 
Batangan and Darvel Bay. The Government are 
also trying an experiment on the Sapong line, which 
will be followed by the railway. The tobacco which 
was so sought after by the natives in old days was, 
however, a product principally of the north-west 
coast. It would probably be advantageous to find out 
the exact spots where the Saba plants were grown. 
There is very little likelihood of there being a glut 
of tobacco on the market, as many of the old sources 
of supply are drying up, as in Cuba, and, to a lesser 
extent, in Manila, and the recent judicious reduction 
of duty in England will increase its consumption. 
I have no sympathy with those who would instead 
have lowered or abolished the duty on tea, as if tea 
drinkers should not contribute to the support of our 
navy, which secures the arrival of their favourite leaf. 
The production of co£Fee, cotton, gambier and 
pepper are as yet on a very small scale, as most of the 
plantations are in their infancy. Pepper used to 
be grown to a considerable extent in the districts 
opposite, and a little north of Labuan, but here, as 
elsewhere, no doubt, the exceedingly low prices may 



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2 56 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

have induced the natives to neglect the cultivation 
of this vine. Sarawak now produces about 15,000 
tons of gambier, worth $700,000. This should en- 
courage planters in North Borneo. 

Cutch, manufactured from the bark of the man- 
grove tree, has became a very important export, and 
the development of this industry can only be limited 
by the demand. Gutta and rubber are of some 
importance, and rattans are taking an important 
place in the list of exports, and so are sago flour 
and timber. Although as a rule export duties on 
cultivated products are to be avoided, there are many 
good reasons why the Government should put a duty 
on tobacco, which, however, is so very light, only 
one per cent., as scarcely to affect its price, whilst 
the sum so raised is of importance to the Treasury* 
The police and other expenses connected with the 
protection of this industry are considerable. 

In reading over the reports in the North Borneo 
Heraldy I have noticed the tendency of the officers 
in charge of districts to interfere with the movements 
of traders. One will only allow certain men to go 
into the interior to collect jungle products, but they 
must not take with them merchandise to barter 
with the natives ; another objects to traders going 
into the interior to buy produce there, as it prevents 
the aborigines coming down to have *a glimpse of 
civilisation * ; a third charges for permits, which 
induces people to get into the Company's interior 



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RAJAH BROOKE 257 

districts from the Brunei territory, and to return 
that way, thus depriving the Government of its 
export duties (to this I notice Mr Maxwell objected) 5 
a fourth is afraid that the Chinaman will cheat the 
innocent Dusun, but after a very short time the 
latter becomes a very good match for the trader. I 
remember certain natives bringing hundreds of pikuls 
of worthless gutta, carefully coated over with the 
genuine article, to the bazaar in Sarawak. The China- 
man tested it, and finding no stones concealed inside 
the lumps, bought it at rather a high price, but was 
surprised to find on its being sent to Singapore that 
it was unsaleable. I do not think, therefore, that the 
officers of the State of North Borneo need trouble 
themselves about the trading incapacity of the Dusuns. 
But the scales and weights of the Chinese should be 
periodically tested, as this is their favourite method of 
cheating the unwary. 

I have always objected to these restrictions on 
trade, and to the free movements of traders, as they 
existed in Sarawak. They owed their origin there, as 
in North Borneo, to the jealousy of the native chiefs, 
who do their utmost to monopolise the trade them- 
selves, and therefore counsel the English officers not 
to allow Chinamen to penetrate into the interior. 
I would give perfect liberty to everyone, and this 
would not only increase the number of traders, but 
add considerably to the exports. 

I have considered with great attention the negotia- 

R 



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2 58 BUILDERS OF GREATER BRITAIN 

tions which took place between the directors of the 
British North Borneo Company and the present 
Rajah of Sarawak, Sir Charles Brooke, and I have come 
to the conclusion that the shareholders were perfectly 
right not to part with their territory or resign its 
management. The Rajah would have found this 
great increase of dominion very burdensome, and I 
should be inclined to doubt whether Sarawak possesses 
either the capital or the staff to enable her thus to 
increase her responsibilities. Sarawak, as I have ob- 
served, has generally failed to attract English capital, 
and although the Rajah has governed his own terri- 
tories with eminent success, it does not follow that he 
would have succeeded in so developing North Borneo 
as ever to have been able to pay the shareholders a 
dividend. They have already waited seventeen years, 
with an occasional trifling return, and probably they may 
have to wait some time yet, as the country has been but 
very partially opened out, but that there is a great 
future before North Borneo, I have full confidence. 

When the State of North Borneo has advanced 
sufficiently, it might follow the example of the old 
East India Company — convert the capital of the 
association into stock at high interest to compensate 
for past losses, and then, under a Court of Directors, 
devote the whole of the revenue of the State to the 
advancement of the interests and welfare of the 
country. This solution would no doubt be satis- 
fiictory to everyone connected with the enterprise. 



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APPENDIX 

Mr Brooke^s Expedition to Borneo.^ 

Borneo (in the language of the natives Bruni), 
Celebes, Sulu, the Moluccas, and the islands of the 
Straits of Sunda and Banca, compose what is 
commonly called the Malayan group, and the Malays 
located on the sea shores of these and other islands 
may with certainty be classed as belonging to one 
nation. 

It is well known, however, that the interior of these 
countries is inhabited by various tribes, differing from 
the Malays and each other, and presenting numerous 
gradations of imperfect civilisation. 

The Dyaks of Borneo, the Arafuras of New 
Guinea, and others, besides the black race scattered 
over the islands (objects here, as elsewhere, of traffic), 
present an interesting field of inquiry ; and it is 
surprising, whilst our acquaintance with every other 
portion of the globe, from the passage of the Pole 

* This Appendix is reprinted from Vol. I. of The Private Letters of 
Sir James Brooke^ Rajah of Sarawak^ edited by J. C. Templer, Barrister- 
at-Law (Bentley, 1853), from the original MS. in his possession. A 
brief abstract of it was published in the youmal of the Geographical 
Society in 1838, Vol. VIII., p. 443. 

»59 



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i6o APPENDIX 

to the navigation of the Euphrates, has greatly ex- 
tended, we know scarcely anything of these varieties 
of the human race beyond the bare fact of their 
existence, and remain extremely ignorant of the 
geographical features of the countries they inhabit. 

Countries which present an extended field for 
Christianity and commerce — which none surpass in 
fertility — rich beyond the Americas in mineral pro- 
ductions, and unrivalled in natural beauty, yet con- 
tinue unexplored, and spite of the advantages which 
would probably result, have foiled to attract the 
attention they so well deserve. The difficulty of 
the undertaking will scarcely account for its non- 
performance ; if we consider the voluntary sacri- 
fices made on the shrine of African research, or 
the energy displayed and the sufferings encountered 
by the explorers of the Polar regions, yet the 
necessity of prosecuting the voyage in an armed 
vessel, the wildness of the interior tribes, the law- 
less ferocity of the Malays, and the dangers to be 
apprehended from the jealousy of the Dutch, would 
prevent most individuals from fixing on this field 
for their exertions, and points it out as one which 
can only be fully accomplished by Government, or 
some influential body. 

It is not my object to enter into any detail of the 
past history of the Malayan nations, but I may refer 
to the undoubted fact that they have been in a state 
of deterioration since we first became acquainted with 



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RAJAH BROOKE 261 

them ; and the records of our early voyagers, together 
with the remains of antiquity still visible in Java and 
Sumatra, prove that once flourishing nations have 
now ceased to exist, and countries once teeming with 
human life are now tenantless and deserted. The 
causes of such lamentable changes need only be 
alluded to, but it is fit to remark that whilst the 
clamour about education is loud, and extravagant 
dreams are entertained of the progressive advance- 
ment of the human race, a large tract of the globe 
has been gradually relapsing, and allowed to relapse, 
into barbarism. 

Whether the early decay of the Malay states and 
their consequent demoralization arose from the in* 
troduction of Mohammedanism, or resulted from the 
intrigues of European ambition, it were useless to 
discuss ; but we are very certain that the policy of 
the Dutch has, at the present day, reduced this 
' Eden of the Eastern wave * to a state of anarchy 
and confusion, as repugnant to humanity as it is 
to commercial prosperity. 

Enough is known of the harshness of this policy, 
and there is no need of here contrasting it with the 
energetic, successful, though ill-supported sway of Sir 
Stamford Raffles — but it is the indirect influence 
which it exerts that has proved so baixefiil to the 
Archipelago, under the assumed jurisdiction of this 
European power. Her unceasing interference in the 
concerns of the Malay Governments, and the watch- 



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262 APPENDIX 

ful fomenting of their internal dissensions, have gradu- 
ally and e£Fectually destroyed all rightful authority, 
and given rise to a number of petty states, which 
thrive on piracy and fatten on the slave trade. The 
consequent disorganisation of society arising from 
these causes has placed a bar to commercial enter- 
prise and personal adventure, and has probably acted 
on the interior tribes much in the same way as 
this fatal policy has affected the Malays. As far 
as can be ascertained, the financial and commercial 
concerns of the Dutch have not been prosperous ; it 
is easy to conceive such to be the case, as it will be 
conceded that oppression and prosperity cannot co- 
exist. In short, with the smallest possible amount of 
advantage, the Dutch Government has all along en- 
deavoured to perpetuate an exclusive system, aiming 
more at injury to others than any advantage to them- 
selves, or to the nations under their sway ; for where 
an enlightened administration might have produced 
the most beneficial results, we are forced to deplore 
not only the mischief done, and the mass of good 
neglected, but the misery and suffering inflicted on 
unhappy races, capable, as has been proved, of 
favourable development under other circumstances. 

The policy of the British in the Indian Archi- 
pelago has been marked by vacillation and weakness. 
The East India Company, with a strong desire to 
rival the Dutch, aimed at doing so by indirect and 
underhand means, and shrunk from the liberality of 



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RAJAH BROOKE 263 

views and bold line of conduct which was perhaps 
inconsistent with their position and tenure of authority. 
It was in vain that Sir Stamford Raffles urged on 
them a line of conduct which, had it been pursued, 
must eventually have ensured the ascendency of the 
British over the space from Borneo to New Holland, 
and have linked her colonies in the East by a chain 
of posts from the northern part of India to the 
southern extremity of Van Diemen*s Land. The 
timidity of the Company and the ignorance or in- 
difference of the then existing Governments not 
only neglected to carry this bold project into execu- 
tion, but sacrificed the advantages already acquired, 
and, without stipulation or reserve, yielded the im- 
proving Javanese to the tender mercies of their 
former masters. The consequences are well known ; 
all the evils of Dutch rule have been re-established, 
and the British watchfully excluded, directly or in- 
directly, from the commerce of the islands. 

It is true that the settlement of Singapore has 
attracted a large portion of the native trade to its 
free port, and has become, from its happy situation, 
in some measure an emporium for Straits' produce ; 
but, with this single commercial exception, our loss of 
footing and political influence in the Archipelago is 
complete, and our intercourse with the natives has 
gradually become more restricted. We may sum up 
these remarks by taking a brief survey of the present 
position of the Archipelago. The Dutch are masters 



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264 APPENDIX 

of a large tract of New Guinea at one extreme, and, 
at the other, have possessed themselves of the coast 
of Borneo, extending from the western boundary of 
Borneo proper to the southern limit of Matan. A 
glance at the chart will show that they have stations 
of more or less importance connecting these points, 
and that Java, and their settlement on Sumatra, give 
them exclusive command of the Straits of Sunda. It 
may likewise be here observed that their territorial 
extension is only limited by their desires, for as there 
is no check from European nations, a title to possession 
is too readily acquired from distracted and contending 
native Governments. 

But the position of the Dutch nation in the ^ Far 
East,' though apparently so imposing, is, in reality, far 
from strong, and their power would easily sink before 
the vigorous opposition of any European country. 

Java, exhausted and rebellious, submits, but re- 
members the period of British possession. The wild 
Battas, of Sumatra, successfully repel the efforts of 
the Dutch to reduce them. The Chinese of the 
southern part of Borneo ire eager to cast off the 
yoke of masters who debar them every advantage, 
and would fain, were it in their power, exact a 
heavy tribute. Their possessions in New Guinea are 
nominal rather than real, and their older settlement 
of the Moluccas, fallen in value, can scarcely be 
supposed to compensate for the sacrifice of men 
and money caused by their narrow-minded views 



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RAJAH BROOKE 265 

and ill - directed eflForts. The Dutch are strong 
enough to defy any native power directed against 
them, but their doubtful title and oppressive tenure 
would, as I have before said, render the down&U of 
their rule in the Archipelago certain and easy 
before the establishment of a liberal Government 
and conciliating policy. 

Of the Malays, it is sufficient here to remark that 
they have ceased to be powerful, and that their dis- 
tracted and disorganised state renders it dangerous 
for friends or strangers to trust themselves in their 
hands ; but their hatred of the Dutch is unbounded, 
and there is no reason to think that any insuper- 
able obstacle would be met with in the formation 
of a strong legitimate Government amongst them. 

Our recent knowledge of the position of the native 
states is so circumscribed, however, that it is difficult 
to say much on this subject. 

The Bugis, the traders of the islands, and their 
hardiest and most enterprising race, are checked and 
hampered by Dutch restrictions, and this remark, 
applying most forcibly to them, is true of the whole 
trading interests, and renders all alike inveterately 
hostile to the Dutch. 

It may be fairly concluded from the foregoing 
remarks that the injury done to British interests by 
the cession of Java and the consequent loss of power 
has been greatly counterbalanced by the misrule of the 
Dutch since their undisputed re-establishment. The 



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266 APPENDIX 

field is again open, therefore, to any nation desirous of 
rivalling Holland, and little doubt can be entertained 
of the success of such an eflFort, if carried on by a 
course of policy and conduct the reverse in every 
respect of that pursued by the present monopolists. 
The fact must be always borne in mind that the 
Dutch are masters of the Archipelago only because 
no other nation is willing to compete with them, and 
although any attempt by another power might, and 
would, doubtless, be watched with the greatest anxiety 
and distrust, and every opposition, direct and indirect, 
be levelled against it, yet it could not be considered any 
infi-ingement of acknowledged right or actual possession. 

A liberal system, indeed, recommended by mutual 
advantage, would assuredly triumph over any local 
opposition, if not obstructed by European interests ; 
nor is there any great reason to apprehend such a 
probability, unless, going from one extreme to another, 
we should attempt hostility to regain what was 
foolishly thrown away. 

Nevertheless, sooner or later, the time must arrive 
when we shall again be in possession of these islands, 
and we may accordingly look forward and prepare 
for the event in various ways. 

The subject may be divided under two heads, viz.. 
Territorial Possession, and Commercial Prosperity ; 
and these appear so intimately blended, that the 
second is greatly dependent on the first, for it must 
be remembered that Sir Stamford Raffles, the highest 



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RAJAH BROOKE ^6^ 

authority on this point, has pronounced that no 
purely commercial settlement can succeed in the 
Archipelago, and has attributed the numerous failures 
which have occurred to a lack of knowledge of the 
country, and the non-possession of territory. 

Many arguments might be lu-ged, and many 
reasons given, to show the entire justice of this 
opinion, but it will be sufficient to state that 
where a native population exists, and is rightly 
governed, an influence is insensibly acquired and 
strengthened, not only over those immediately pro- 
tected, but also over the neighbouring tribes, and 
that on the occasion of any disturbance or collision 
with other powers, the means of resistance or the 
pimishment of aggression are at hand. A com- 
mercial post, on the contrary, though advantageously 
situated, is liable to the fluctuations and distractions 
of its neighboiu^, its means of attack or defence 
are necessarily limited, and whilst it fails to com- 
mand respect, the natives are rather injured than 
benefited by its existence. 

The chief consideration, however, seems to be that 
territorial power is constantly opening new sources of 
traflic, and extending those already established, by 
disembarrassing trade of the intermediate clogs which 
tend to limit exports, from the small amount of benefit 
to the original dealer — and to lessen the demand — 
from the increased price attendant on passing through 
various hands. 



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268 APPENDIX 

The insular situation of Singapore may be adduced 
as a proof of this, for all articles of Straits produce, 
before coming into the possession of the British 
merchant, a£Ford profits to several classes of natives, 
in a very imequal degree ; and little hope can be 
entertained of the favourable progress of a trade 
wherein the original producer or proprietor partici- 
pates to so trifling an extent in its advantages. It 
may, indeed, be considered a monopoly by the natives 
inhabiting the coasts, as severe on the interior tribes 
as the Dutch restrictions on themselves. 

For these and many other causes which readily 
occur, it would seem that territorial possession is the 
best, if not the only means, by which to aquire a 
direct and powerful influence in the Archipelago, but 
any government instituted for the purpose must be 
directed to the advancement of the native interests 
and the development of native resources rather 
than by a flood of European colonization, to aim 
at possession only, without reference to the inde- 
feasible rights of the Aborigines. 

On the second head, viz., the Commercial Pros- 
perity, nothing need be added save that, being 
dependent on the right working of the first principle, 
it must unavoidably, in its progress, present a strik- 
ing contrast to the commercial monopolies of the 
Dutch, and be the means of bringing the English 
merchant in contact with the original native dealer. 

The advantages, political and commercial, accruing 



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RAJAH BROOKE 269 

from a well-managed territory need only be alluded 
to, as everyone in the slightest degree acquainted with 
the country is well aware of its vast capability. 

In a political view, the contiguity of the islands to 
our possessions in New Holland and India, and the 
command over China, are sufficiently apparent ; and 
commercially, it would only be necessary to quote 
their productions to prove their value. The difficulty 
of once more placing our interests on a footing 
worthy a great nation is no doubt considerable, but 
apt to be greatly overrated ; as the unpopularity of 
the Dutch, and the weakness of the native states, 
would ensure success to an establishment aiming at 
sufficient results by slow but steady means. The 
question, indeed, is not one embracing the acquisition 
of territory, but its occupation : viz., whether England 
shall claim and improve lands she holds by as good a 
title as any the Dutch can show, and whether, doing 
so, she shall use the full ascendency of her national 
position to extend her commerce, and distribute her 
manufactures among a people who have always, when 
permitted, shown their craving for mercantile ad- 
venture ? 

A strong government established in Malludu ^ Bay, 
a British territory capable of extension, and possessing 
internal resources, having sufficient authority to culti- 
vate a good understanding with the native govern- 
ments, and spread inferior posts over the Archipelago, 

' In the text of this volume the name is spelt ' Marudu.* 



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270 APPENDIX 

as opportunities offered, would effect this object, and, 
without infringing upon the claims of any foreign 
state, ensure a commercial footing on a scale never 
yet developed in this portion of the world. Malludu 
Bay, situated at the northern extremity of Borneo, 
has been mentioned as best adapted for the purpose in 
view on several accounts. 

1st. It is a British possession. 

2nd. There is no great Malay or Bugis settlement 
in its vicinity. 

3rd. It is the place where, in all probability, a 
direct intercourse may be held with the Dyaks of 
the interior. 

4th. The position relative to China is advan- 
tageous. 

5th. It forms the western limit of the Archipelago, 
and our new settlement at Port Essington bounds 
it to the eastward. The climate and the soil are 
well spoken of: a river flows into the bay, and is 
reported to communicate with the lake of Keeny 
Balloo^ and the mountains in the interior— one of 
very considerable elevation. Above all, however, 
the natives are reported to be docile and easily 
taught; the servants of the Company attached to 
their settlement of Balambangan were decided in 
opinion that this bay was far preferable in every 
respect to the station chosen and subsequently 
abandoned. 

' Kina Bala. 



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RAJAH BROOKE 271 

Supposing these advantages to be as above stated, 
yet it would scarcely authorise any active steps being 
taken without a more accurate knowledge than we 
at present possess of the particular locality and of 
the States in its vicinity ; it is to this point that I 
would direct attention, remarking, however, that 
although Malludu Bay should on inquiry be found 
to be unfit for the purposes of colonisation, yet the 
general view of our policy remains unaflFected, as 
it would be only necessary to obtain a suitable 
place. 

With a settlement at each extremity of the Archi- 
pelago, we could readily protect the trade of the 
natives, and obtain minor posts, and free-trade ports, 
whence the best principles of commerce and good 
government might be disseminated, and our in- 
terests best promoted, by the general prosperity of 
the countries under our sway, or in our own 
vicinity. It is scarcely necessary to say more on 
this subject, but before closing these remarks, I 
cannot help adverting to the colony at Port 
Essington. 

The former settlement, which existed in the im- 
mediate neighbourhood of Port Essington, was after 
a trial (of a few years) abandoned as useless, and 
the same difficulties which checked the progress of 
the first will probably impede the present colony. 

It was a striking feature of this settlement, that the 
natives, though frequenting the coasts to the north- 



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272 APPENDIX 

ward of New Holland,' seldom if ever visited or offered 
to trade with the settlement. This has, I know, 
been attributed to the natives being ignorant of the 
existence of the place, but this reason appears to me 
improbable in the highest degree, and we may with 
more justice surmise the cause to be our utter dis- 
inclination and local inability to protect traders from 
the consequences attendant on a breach of Dutch 
regulations. This conjecture gathers confirmation 
from the facts that' the inhabitants of the Eastern 
portion of the Archipelago are not addicted to 
maritime adventure, being supplied by the traders of 
the Western Islands with such articles of European 
or Chinese manufacture as are suited to their tastes. 
The Bugis vessels that frequent the north coast of 
New Holland chiefly carry on the trade with the 
Arafura group, and it is evident that going and 
returning from this voyage they are at the mercy of 
the Dutch cruisers. Is it probable, then, that the 
Dutch would allow an intercourse with a British 
settlement which it was in their power to prevent ? 
And whilst the Bugis are the carriers, is it not in the 
power of the Dutch to restrict and harass, if not 
totally to prevent, their communication with us? 
The natives of the Archipelago cannot look to the 
British for protection, but they can and do look for 
Dutch vengeance, and dread it. 

These considerations are not urged against advan- 

' I^.j Australia. 



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RAJAH BROOKE 273 

tages to be derived from the possession of Port Essing- 
ton, but rather as a warning against the over-sanguine 
expectations of its having a trade of any considerable 
extent, whilst our relations with the Archipelago con- 
tinue on their present eclipsed footing. The good to 
result from this colony must be looked for on the 
continent of New Holland, where it will probably 
extend and make the same progressive strides to im- 
portance as the sister colonies in the same country : 
but with reference to the Archipelago, its govern- 
ment will want authority to control the evil influence 
sufficiently to ameliorate the present system. 

Not far distant to the westward of Port Essington 
is the large and fertile island of Timor, a portion of 
which there is no doubt the Government of Portugal 
would cede willingly for the smallest equivalent, as 
it has been long virtually abandoned, and is utterly 
useless to the mother country. The size and situa- 
tion would render the possession of the Portuguese 
frontier of this island a desirable acquisition, and the 
favourable opportunity may not, if allowed to pass 
over, again recur. 

The same, indeed, may be said of Leuconia, which, 
offering no real benefit to Spain, would, in the hands 
of the English, be a lever to rule both China and the 
Archipelago. Rich, fertile, and blessed with a fine 
climate, within a few days' sail of Canton, and com- 
manding the China sea, it would be an unrivalled 
jewel in the colonial tiara of England. When our 

s 

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174 APPENDIX 

relations with China come to be settled, and settled 
they must shortly be, the importance of Manila can 
scarcely be overrated, 

Spain, distracted and torn by internal factions, and 
pledged to England by treaty and obligation, would 
readily place Leuconia in our hands as a guarantee for 
the sums due, and would probably cede the possession 
in lieu of the claims we have on her exchequer. 

For such an acquisition, the present is the time, 
the tide in our a&irs which, taken at the flood, would 
lead on to fortune ; and as I have before stated, that in 
a political point of view it is only on an extended scale 
that any real advantage, national or local, is to be 
gained, I must re-urge my conviction that it is better 
to leave the Archipelago in its present state until the 
next general war, when it will again pass into our 
hands, than, by contenting ourselves with paltry and 
insignificant stations, convey false impressions of our 
national importance, not easily removed from the 
minds of the natives.' 

Whatever difference of opinion may exist, or what- 

' I may here add a brief summary of the Dutch trading regulations : — 
Death was inflicted on traders in spice and opium not first bought from 
the Company. It is forbidden, under heavy penalties, to export or im- 
port the following articles, viz., pepper, tin, copper, Surat silks, Indian 
cloths, cotton yarns of all sorts, unstamped gold, Samarang arrack, 
muskets, gunpowder, etc., etc. All vessels required a pass. No vessel 
to carry powder or shot in greater quantity than specified in the pass. 
No port was open to any vessel coming from the northward of the 
Moluccas, except Batavia. No navigation was allowed to be carried on 
by the vessels of Banka and Billiton, except to Palembang : no naviga- 
tion from Celebes ! 



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RAJAH BROOKE 275 

ever degree of credit may be due to the views here 
recommended, there can be no doubt of our future 
ascendency in the Archipelago, whether attempted 
at the present time, or delayed until the fortimes of 
war offer a fitting occasion. In either case a previous 
acquaintance will greatly facilitate the result, and must 
in all probability tend to a more just appreciation of 
these highly interesting countries ; for when public 
attention is once aroused, and a stimulus given to 
inquiry, it cannot fail in fully developing the re- 
sources, and exhausting the knowledge of the mine, 
which has heretofore been left to the weak and 
casual efforts of individual exertion. It has been 
remarked by Mr Farquhar that the indifference of 
the British Government must have originated solely 
from the want of information, or its incorrectness, 
since it is not improbable that the riches of Sumatra 
and Borneo are equal to those of Brazil and New 
Spain. The lapse of years has by no means weakened 
the force of this observation, for Borneo, Celebes, 
and indeed the greater portion of these islands are 
still unknown, and the government is as indifferent 
now to these countries, equal in riches, and superior 
in commercial advantages to the new world. The 
apathy of two centuries still reign supreme with 
the enlightened people of England, as well as their 
Government, and whilst they willingly make the 
most expensive eflForts favourable to science, com- 
merce, or Christianity in other quarters, the locality 



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276 APPENDIX 

which eminently combines these three objects is 
alone neglected and alone uncared for. 

It has unfortunately been the fiate of our Indian 
possessions to have laboured under the prejudice and 
contempt of a large portion of the well-bred com- 
munity, for whilst the folly of fashion requires an 
acquaintance with the deserts of Africa, and a most 
ardent thirst for a knowledge of the usages of Tim- 
buctoo, it at the same time justifies the most pro- 
found ignorance of all matters connected with the 
government and geography of our vast possessions in 
Hindostan. The Indian Archipelago has fully shared 
this neglect, for even the tender philanthropy of the 
present day, which originates such multifarious 
schemes for the amelioration of doubtful evils, and 
which shudders at the prolongation of apprenticeship 
in the West for a single year, is blind to the existence 
of slavery in its worst and most exaggerated form in 
the East. Not a single prospectus is spread abroad, 
not a single voice upraised in Exeter Hall, to relieve 
the darkness of paganism and the horrors ot the slave 
trade. Whilst the trumpet tongue of many an orator 
excites thousands to the rational and charitable object 
of converting the Jews and reclaiming the gipsies ; 
whilst the admirable exertions of missionary enterprise 
in the Ausonian climes of the South Sea have invested 
them with worldly power as well as religious influ- 
ence; whilst the benevolent plans of the New Zealand 
Association contemplate the protection of the natives 



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RAJAH BROOKE 277 

by the acquisition of their territory : whilst we admire 
the torrent of devotional and philosophical exertion, 
we cannot help deploring that the zeal and atten- 
tion of the leaders of these charitable crusades have 
never been directed to the countries under con- 
sideration. These unhappy countries have failed to 
rouse attention or excite commiseration, and as they 
sink lower and lower, they aflFord a striking proof 
how civilisation may be crushed, and how the fairest 
and richest lands under the sun may become degraded 
by a continuous course of oppression and misrule. 

It is under these circumstances I have considered 
that individual exertions may be usefully applied to 
rouse the zeal of slumbering philanthropy, and lead 
the way to an increased knowledge of the Indian 
Archipelago. 

Such an exertion will be made at some cost and 
some sacrifice, and I shall here quit the general 
topic, and confine myself to the specific objects of 
my intended voyage. It must be premised, how- 
ever, that any plan previously decided on must 
always be subject, during its execution, to great 
modification, in coimtries where the population is 
always wild and often hostile, and where the influ- 
ence of climate is sometimes fatally opposed to the 
progress of inquiry. Local information, likewise, 
frequently renders a change both advisable and ad- 
vantageous, and circumstances, as they spring up, 
too often influence beyond the power of foresight. 



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278 APPENDIX 

especially in my own case, where the utmost care 
will still leave the means very inadequate to the full 
accomplishment of the proposed undertaking. 

With a small vessel properly equipped, and provided 
with the necessary instruments for observation, and the 
means for collecting specimens in Natural History, 
it is proposed, in the first place, to proceed to 
Singapore, which may be considered the headquarters 
for the necessary intervals of refreshment, and for 
keeping open a certain communication with Europe. 
Here, the best local information can be obtained, 
interpreters procured, the crew augmented for any 
particular service, and, if needful, a small vessel of 
native construction may be added to the expedition 
to facilitate the objects in view. An acquaintance 
may likewise be formed with the more respectable 
of the Bugis merchants, and their good-will con- 
ciliated in the usual mode, viz., by civility and 
presents, so as to remove any misconceived jealousy 
on the score of trading rivalry, and to induce a 
favourable report of our friendly intentions in their 
own country, and at the places where they may 
touch. The Royalist^ will probably reach Singapore 
in the month of February or March 1839, at the 
latter end of the N.E. or rainy monsoon. The 
delay consequent on eflFecting the objects above men- 
tioned, besides gaining a general acquaintance with 

' The Royalisty a yacht of 142 tons burthen, belonging to the Royal 
Yacht Squadron, in which the enterprise was prosecuted. 



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RAJAH BROOKE 279 

the natural history and trade of the settlement, and 
some knowledge of the Malay language, will usefully 
occupy the time until the setting in of the S.W. or 
dry monsoon. It may be incidentally mentioned, 
however, that, in the vicinity of Singapore, there 
are many islands imperfectly known, and which, 
during the interval of the rainy season, will afford 
interesting occupation. I allude more especially to 
the space between the Straits of Rhio and those of 
the Durien, and likewise to the island of Bintang, 
which, although laid down as one large island, is 
probably composed of small ones, a better acquaint- 
ance with which might facilitate the voyage from 
Singapore to the eastward, by bringing to light 
other passages besides those of Rhio and Durien, 
and at any rate would add something to the know- 
ledge of the country in the immediate vicinity of 
our settlement. On the commencement of the 
healthy season, I purpose sailing from Singapore, 
and proceeding without loss of time to Malludu 
Bay. This spot has been chosen for our first 
essay for reasons previously enumerated, and in a 
country every part of which is highly interesting, 
the mere fact of its being a British possession 
gives it a prior claim to attention. The objects 
in view may be briefly mentioned. 

1st. A general knowlege of the bay, and the 
correct position of its various points, so as to deter- 
mine its outline* 



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28o APPENDIX 

2nd. To make inquiries of the settlement of 
Cochin-Chinese, reported, on Earl's authority, to 
be fixed in the neighbourhood of Bankoka. (An 
intercourse will if possible be opened with this 
settlement.) 

3rd. Carefully and minutely to explore the rivers 
which flow into the bay, and to penetrate, if practic- 
able, as far as the lake and mountain of Keeny Balloo. 

4th. Every endeavour will be used to open a com- 
munication with the aboriginal inhabitants, and to 
conciliate their good opinion. I speak with great 
diffidence about penetrating into the interior of this 
country, for I am well aware of the insurmountable 
difficulties which the hard reality often presents, 
previously overlooked, or easily overcome on the 
smoothness of paper, or in the luxury of a drawing- 
room. The two points chiefly to be relied on for this 
purpose are a friendly intercourse with the natives, 
and the existence of navigable rivers. It is mentioned 
by Sir Stamford Raffles, on native authority, that a 
land communication of not more than forty miles 
exists between Malludu Bay and Keeny Balloo, but 
neither this computation, nor any other derived from 
the natives, can be relied on, for the inhabitants of 
these countries are generally ignorant of any measure 
of distance, and their reckoning by time is so vague 
as to defy a moderately certain conclusion. The feet, 
however, of the vicinity of the lake to the bay is 
certain, and it follows as a reasonable inference that 



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RAJAH BROOKE 281 

the river or rivers flowing into the bay communicate 
with the lake. The existence of such rivers, which 
were from the locality to be expected, are mentioned 
by Captain Forrest. 

Most of this north part of Borneo (he says), granted 
to the East India Company by the Sulus, is watered 
by noble rivers ; those that discharge themselves 
into Malludu Bay are not barred. It is by one or 
the other of these rivers that I shall hope to pene- 
trate as far as the lake and mountain of Keeny Balloo, 
and into the country of the Idaan. I have not been 
able to learn that any Malay towns of importance 
are situated in the bight of the bay, and their absence 
will render a friendly communicatioxi with the abori- 
gines a matter of comparative ease. The advantages 
likely to result from such friendly relations are so 
evident, that I need not dwell upon them, though 
the mode of effecting such an intercourse must be 
left to the thousand contingencies which govern 
all, and act so capriciously on the tempers of savage 
races. The utmost forbearance and liberality, guided 
by prudence, so as not to excite cupidity, appear the 
fundamental rules for managing men in a low state 
of civilisation. 

The results of an amicable imderstanding are un- 
certain at its commencement, for they depend on 
the enterprise of the individual and the power of 
the native tribe into whose hands he may chance to 
fall. I will therefore not enter into a visionary field 



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282 APPENDIX 

of discovery, but it appears to me certain that, 
without the assistance of the natives, no small party 
can expect to penetrate far into a country populous 
by report, and in many parts thickly wooded. 
Without entertaining exaggerated expectations, I 
trust that something may be added to our geo- 
graphical knowledge of the sea-coast of this bay ; 
its leading features, productions, river anchorages 
and inhabitants ; the prospects of trade and the 
means of navigation ; and although my wishes lead 
me strongly to penetrate as far as the lake, yet the 
obstacles which may be found to exist will induce 
me to rest satisfied with the more moderate and 
reasonable result* It may not be superfluous to 
notice here that a foregone conclusion appears to 
be spread abroad regarding the aboriginal (so-called) 
inhabitants of Borneo, and that they are usually 
considered and mentioned under the somewhat vague 
appellation of Dyaks. They are likewise commonly 
pronounced as originating from the same stock as 
the Arafuras of Celebes and New Guinea, and 
radically identical with the Polynesian race. The 
conclusion is not in itself highly improbable, but 
certainly premature, as the facts upon which it is 
built are so scanty and doubtful as to warrant no 
such structure. On an island so vast as Borneo, 
races radically distinct might exist, and at any rate 
the opposite conclusion is hardly justifiable from the 
specimens of language, or the physical appearance of 



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RAJAH BROOKE 283 

the tribes of the southern portion of the country* 
We have Malay authorities for believing that there 
are many large tribes in the interior, diflFering greatly 
in their degree of civilisation, though all alike re- 
moved from the vicinity of a superior people. We 
have the Dyaks of the south, the Idaan of the north, 
the Kayan warriors and the Punan, a race little better 
than monkeys, who live in trees, eat without cook- 
ing, are hunted by the other tribes, and would seem 
to exist in the lowest conceivable grade of humanity. 
If we can trust these accounts, the latter people re- 
semble in many particulars the Orang Benua, or 
aborigines of the Peninsula, but the Dyaks and 
Idaans are far superior, living in villages, cultivat- 
ing the ground and possessing cattle; besides these, 
we have the names of several other tribes and 
people, and in all probability many exist in the 
interior with whom we are yet unacquainted. 

There are strong reasons for believing that the 
Hindoo religion, which obtained so extensively in 
Java and Sumatra, and yet survives in Balli and 
Lombok, was likewise extended to Borneo, and 
some authors have conceived grounds for supposing 
a religion anterior even to this. If only a portion 
of these floating opinions should be true, and the 
truth can only be tested by inquiry, we may fairly 
look for the descendants of the Hindoo dynasty as 
well as an aboriginal people. It never seems to have 
occurred to anyone to compare the Dyaks with the 



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284 APPENDIX 

people of Balli and Lombok ; we know indeed little 
of the former, but both races are fair, good-looking 
and gentle. Again, respecting the concluded identity 
of the Dyaks and Arafuras ; it is clear we have a 
very limited knowledge of the former, and, I may ask, 
what do we know of the Arafuras ? In short, I feel 
as reluctant to embrace any preconceived theory as 
I am to adopt the prevailing notion on this subject, 
for it requires a mass of facts, with which we are 
lamentably deficient, to arrive at anything approach- 
ing to a reasonable conclusion. To return, however, 
from the above digression to the proceedings of the 
Royalist^ I would remark that it depends greatly on 
the time passed in Malludu Bay whether our next 
endeavour be prosecuted at Abai on the western, or 
Trusan Abai on the eastern coast. The object in 
visiting Abai would be chiefly to penetrate to the 
lake, which, on the authority of Dalrymple and 
Barton, is not very far distant thence by a water 
commimication ; but should any success have attended 
similar efforts from Malludu Bay, this project will be 
needless, as the enterprise will be prosecuted to the 
westward, and reach the vicinity of Abai. As 
Kimanis is the limit of the British territory to the 
westward, so Point Kenabahtongen, situated to the 
southward of the bay of Londakua (Sandakan ?), forms 
the eastern boundary, and a line drawn from coast 
to coast between these points is represented as in- 
cluding our possessions. A reference to the chart 



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RAJAH BROOKE 285 

will show the extent to be considerable, and the 
eastern coast from Malludu Bay to Point Kena- 
bantongen is so little known, that it is desirable to 
become acquainted with its general features and 
conformation, and to seek thence the means of gain- 
ing an inlet into the interior should it be denied 
at Malludu Bay. The reported proximity of Keeny 
Balloo to Malludu Bay, and likewise to Abai, would 
(supposing it to be anything like the size it is 
affirmed) lead us to expect that it cannot be far 
distant from the eastern coast, and it is reasonable 
to conclude that some rivers or streams discharge 
themselves into the sea, in the numerous indenta- 
tions that abound on this shore. However this 
may be, the coast, with its bays, islands, and bold 
headlands, . is one of great interest, the careful in- 
spection of which as far as Point Keneonjon will 
add to our knowledge. The longitude of Point 
Unsong and Point Keneonjon will likewise deter- 
mine the eastern extremity of Borneo, as the lati- 
tude of Point San Paniange will give the northern 
extreme of the island. 

Much might be added on this topic, especially on 
the reputed communication by a line of lakes from 
Malludu Bay to Benjar Massin, which, if true, would 
in all probability place some of these lakes near 
particular points of the eastern coast, as the whole 
line from the relative position of the two extremes 
must be on the eastern side of the island. These 



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286 APPENDIX 

reports, and the various surmises which arise from 
them, are matters rather of confirmation than dis- 
cussion, and I will therefore only add that, tempted 
by success, I shall not devote less than a year and a 
half to this object ; but in case of finding a sickly 
climate, or meeting with a decidedly hostile popula- 
tion, I shall more easily abandon the field, and turn 
to others of not less interest, and perhaps less risk. 

Equal to Borneo in riches, and superior in pictur- 
esque beauty to any part of the Archipelago, is the 
large and eccentric country of the Bugis, called 
Celebes; so deep are the indentations of its coast, 
that the island may be pronounced as composed of a 
succession of peninsulas, nearly uniting in a common 
centre in the district of Palos, and thus, by the 
proximity of every part to the sea, oflFering great 
facilities for brief and decisive inland excursions. 

The Dutch hold possession of Macassar, and 
formerly had settlements on the north-west coast 
and in the Bay of Sawa ; their power appears never 
to have been very extensively acknowledged, and at 
present I have not been able to find any account of 
the condition of their factories. This information 
will probably be gained at Singapore, and at all events, 
I am by no means ambitious of frequenting their 
ports further than necessity obliges, and expect but 
little information from them respecting the internal 
regulations of their colonial Government, or the 
trade or productions of the territory under their 



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RAJAH BROOKE 287 

sway. I propose, therefore, limiting my inquiries 
to the northern and north-eastern portion of the 
island, more especially the great Bay of Gunong 
Telia. It is impossible to state here the direction of 
these inquiries, or any definitive object to which they 
should be turned, as I am acquainted with no author 
who speaks of the country save in a general and 
vague manner. It is reported as rich, mountainous, 
strikingly beautiful, and possessed of rivers abounding 
in birds, and, like Borneo, inhabited by wild tribes 
in the interior, and by the Bugis on the seashores 
and entrances of rivers. The character of the Bugis, 
so variously represented, gives me strong hopes of 
rendering them, by care and kindness, useful instru- 
ments in the prosecution of these researches, for all 
writers agree that they are hardy, active, enterpris- 
ing and commercial, and it is seldom that a people 
possessing such characteristics are deaf to the sug- 
gestions of self-interest and kindly feeling. 

The arrogance and especially the indolence of the 
Malays counteract the influence of these strong in- 
centives, and the impulse which governs such wild 
tribes as the Dyaks and Arafuras is a dangerous 
weapon which cuts all ways, and often when least 
anticipated. The Bajoos (Bajaus), or sea gipsies, 
are another race on whom some dependence may 
be placed, particularly if they be freed from the 
trammels of debt, swindled upon them by the 
Malays. Mr Earl, who had a personal acquaint- 



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288 APPENDIX 

ance with this tribe, and could speak their language, 
always expressed to me a degree of confidence 
in their good faith which must have had some 
grounds. 

I may here conclude the first stage of the expedi- 
tion, during the progress of which the headquarters 
will be fixed at Singapore. During some of the 
intervals I hope to see Manila, and to acquire a 
cursory knowledge of the unexplored tract at the 
southern extemity of Manila, called in Norries' 
general chart the Tiger Islands. The time devoted 
to the objects above mentioned must, as I have 
before said, be regulated by the degree of fortune 
which attends them ; for, cheered by success, I 
should not readily abandon the field ; yet, if perse- 
cuted by climate or other serious detriments, I shall 
frequently shift the ground to remove myself beyond 
such evil influence. It is scarcely needful to continue 
a detail of projects so distant, having already carved 
out for mjrself a work which I should be proud to 
perform, and which is already as extended as the 
chances of human life and human resolves will 
warrant. 

The continuation of the voyage would lead me to 
take the Royalist to Timor or Port Essington, thence 
making excursions to the Aru Isles, Timor Laut, 
and the southern shores of North Guinea. That 
part of the coast contiguous to Torres Straits I 
am particularly desirous of visiting, as it has been 



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RAJAH BROOKE 289 

suggested to me by Mr Earl, and I think with 
reason, that a better channel than the one we are 
at present acquainted with may be found there. 
That such a channel exists, and will be discovered 
when the coast is surveyed, I entertain but little 
doubt, but the navigation is hazardous, and from 
the westward must be attempted with great caution. 
My own proceedings must of course be regulated 
by the discoveries previously made by Captain Wick- 
ham and others, and as this gentleman has orders to 
survey Torres Straits, the field may be well trodden 
before I reach it. The rest of the voyage I shall 
consider as one merely of pleasure, combining such 
utility as circumstances will permit. It is probable 
that I shall visit our Australian settlements, glance 
at the Islands of the Pacific, and return to Europe 
round the Horn. 

Before concluding this long paper, I may observe 
that there are points of inquiry which may be useful 
to the studies of the learned, which, provided the 
process may be moderately simple, I shall be willing 
to make, and I shall always be happy to receive any 
<lirections or suggestions regarding them. I allude 
to observations of the tides, to geology, natural 
history, etc., etc., for the general observer often 
overlooks highly interesting facts from his attention 
not being called to them. The specimens of natural 
history will be forwarded from time to time, and 
information will be sent to the Geographical Society 



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290 APPENDIX 

which may always, if it be of any value, be used as 
freely as it is communicated. In like manner, the 
objects of natural history will be open to any person 
who is interested in such pursuits. I cannot but 
express my regret that, from pecuniary considera- 
tions as well as the small size of the vessel, and the 
limited quantity of provisions she carries, I am unable 
to take a naturalist and draughtsman, but I should 
always hail with pleasure any scientific person who 
happened to be in the countries at the time ; and I 
may venture to promise him every encouragement 
and fecility in the prosecution of his pursuits. 

I embark upon the expedition with great cheer- 
fulness, with a strong vessel, a good crew, and the 
ingredients of success, as far as the limited scale of 
the undertaking will permit ; and I cast myself on 
the waters, like Southey's little book ; but whether 
the world will know me after many days is a 
question which, hoping the best, I cannot answer 
with any degree of assurance. 



ERRATA 



For * on * read * in,* page 99, line 9. 
For 'Governor* rM</ * Government,* page 109, line 13. 
For^Weeraff* read^Weraffy page 120, line 9. 
For * Pangeran, Nipa * read * Pangeran Nipa,' page 179, line 27^ 
For * Imaun * read ' Imaum,* page 126, line 8. 
» » w w » '^S7y » 1 5* 



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INDEX 



Abai Bay, 233. 

Aberdeen, Lord, 118 ; questionable 
conduct, 119; issues com- 
mission, 130. 

Agriculture, the mainstay, 206 ; 
introduction of new cultures, 
206 ; land awaiting immi- 
grants, 208 ; Malay cultiva- 
tion, 212 ; agriculture in 
Padas, 240. 

Albatross^ H.M.S^ 96. 

Alderson, Baron, remarkable 
speech of, 117. 

Alligators, 227 ; three species, 

227 ; anecdote, 227 ; danger- 
ous, 227 ; heroic conduct, 

228 ; huge reptile, 228 ; 
destruction of a man-eater, 

228 ; one measured 26 feet, 

229 ; causes of exceptional 
voracity, 130. 

Alston, Lieutenant, in East Africa, 

251. 
Antimony, 209. 
Austen, Miss, her novels, 107 ; 

her brother the Admiral, no. 



B 

Bajaus, customs of, 233 ; useful 
population, 246. 

Balestier, Mr, U.S. Envoy, pro- 
poses convention, 115. 

Balignini pirates, action with, 82. 



Ball given by inhabitants of 
Singapore, 193. 

Bandhar, Datu, 126 ; fatal mistake, 
147 ; his house rendezvous 
of British officers, 154; sum- 
moned by Chinese chiefs, 
157 ; gloomy meeting, 159 5 
courageous conduct, 163 ; 
captures Chinese fort, 167. 

Balow Dyaks, 63 ; their Arab 
chief deposed, 67. 

Batang Lupar, the, 64 ; Dyaks 
imder present Rajah, 213. 

Bau, Chinese chief town, 147 ; 
assemble forces at, 147 ; 
driven into, 165 ; gold quartz 
crushing at, 210. 

Beaufort, Mr, Governor of North 
Borneo, 249. 

Belcher, Sir Edward, 54 ; visits 
Sarawak, 59 ; proceeds to 
Brunei, 60 ; joins Keppel, 66. 

Bethune, Captain, sent to Borneo, 
70 ; reports to Government, 

73- 

Borneo Company, 139 5 establish- 
ment saved, 165 ; agents 
arrive, 173 ; lends Rajah 
;f5ooo, 181 ; presses for 
repayment, 183 ; established 
over forty years, 208 ; erects 
crushing plant, 210 ; success- 
ful results, 210 ; increasing 
establishments, 210. 

Boudriot, Monsieur, 131 ; con- 
clusive testimony, 132. 

Brereton, Mr, 88 ; a devoted 
follower ; death, 128 



291 



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292 



INDEX 



British Government, 54 ; slow to 
act, 68 9 care nodiing for 
further East, 69 ; decide to 
occupy Labuan, 82 ; strong 
language concerning, 106 ; 
appoints Brooke Envoy to 
Siam, 109 ; appoints com- 
mission, 118 ; mean conduct, 
119 ; cause of Brooke's mis- 
fortunes, 176. 

Brooke, Mr, Rajah's father, z ; 
his death, 8. 

Brooke, Mrs, Rajah's mother, 2 ; 
her death, 62. 

Brooke, Rajah, his parents, i ; his 
ancestors, 2 ; birth at Benares, 
2 ; first arrival in England, 

2 ; sent to Norwich Grammar 
School, 2 ; first commission, 

3 5 the Burmese War, 3 5 
first action, 4; severely 
wounded, 5 ; returns to 
England, 5 ; resigns Govern- 
ment service, 6 ; first voyage 
to China, 6 ; second voyage 
in brig Findlayj 7 ; purchases 
Royalist^ 8 ; wrote memoir 
on Eastern Archipelago, 9 
(see Appendix) ; his character, 
10 ; portrait by Grant, 10 ; 
sails for Eastern Archipelago, 
II; his views, 12; Singa- 
pore, 12 ; leaves for Borneo, 
13 ; received by Muda 
Hassim, 14 ; visits Lundu, 
16 ; Sherif Sahib, 18 ; attack 
by pirate Dyaks, 18 ; visits 
Celebes, 19 ; European dom- 
ination, 19 ; Brooke's own 
policy, 21 ; second visit to 
Sarawak, 23 ; takes part in 
the civil war, 24 ; close of 
warlike operations, 25 ; final 
engagement, 30 ; treats with 
the rebels, 36 ; their sur- 
render, 39 ; saves their lives, 
40 ; views on Borneo, 44 ; 
resolute conduct, 46 ; Gover- 
nor of Sarawak^ 48 ; estab- 



lishes courts of justice, 48 ; 
Brooke's position, 513 his 
occupations, 54 ; his great 
sagacity, 61 ; wounded, 62 ; 
'to make Borneo a second 
Java,' his policy, 69 ; 
escapes death at Lingire's 
hands, 73 ; coolness and 
presence of mind, 73 5 estab- 
lishes Provisional Govern- 
ment in Brunei, 80 ; signs 
English Treaty with Sultan, 
82 ; returns to England, 83 ; 
received by J^ueen, 84 ; 
honours, 84 ; Commissioner 
and Governor of Labuan, 85 ; 
anecdote, 85^3 K.C.B., 87 ; 
returns to Sarawak, 87 ; the 
Sarawak fiag, 88 ; illness, 
90 ; leaves for Sulu, 91 ; 
reception by Sultan, 92 ; 
second visit, 94 ; signs 
treaty, 94 ; leads expedition 
against pirates, 97 } policy 
attacked, 103 ; anecdote, 
107 ; appointed Envoy to 
Siam, 109 ; returns to 
Sarawak, 114; leaves for 
England, 115 ; no rest there, 
116 5 great speech, 117 5 
shameful treatment, 119; 
smallpox, 120; friendly re- 
ception by Sultan, 122 ; 
expedition against Rentab, 
126 ; attends commission, 
128 ; charm of his society, 
136 ; mollified by tone of 
Lord Clarendon's despatches, 
139 ; his house surprised by 
Chinese, 149; escape, 150; 
attempts to organise forces 
154 ; retires from Kuching 
155 ; premature return, 160 ; 
retires to Samarahan, 162 ; 
the Sir yamet Brooke^ 164 ; 
end of Chinese insurrection, 
170 ; loss of perfect library, 
174; his MSS. and journals 
burnt, 174; cheerful and 



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INDEX 



293 



contented, 174 ; effect on 
Rajah of Indian Mutiny, 
177 5 bonds of sympathy 
slacker, 178 ; proceeds to 
England, 180 ; refuses Pro- 
tectorate, 180 ; pension of 
£70 only income, 181 ; 
British Government to repay 
outlay, 181; attends Drawing- 
Room, 181; despondent, 182 ; 
first attack of paralysis, 182 ; 
freed from pecuniary em- 
barrassments, 183 ; testi- 
monial of ;^88oo, 184 ; buys 
Burrator, 184; mistrusts 
British Government, 186 ; 
would nail colours to the 
mast, 187; returns to Borneo, 
190 ; arranges with Sultan, 
190 ; residence in Muka, 
190 ; Sago rivers, 191 ; 
takes leave, 193 ; independ- 
ence of Sarawak acknow- 
ledged, 195 ; his kindly nature, 
196 ; *a happy man,' 197 ; 
second attack of paralysis, 
199 ; third attack and death, 
199 ; buried at Burrator, 
199 5 his memory ever abid- 
ing, 199 ; his character, 200 ; 
bequeaths Sarawak to his 
nephew Charles, 200 ; his 
will, 200 ; in default of male 
heirs leaves Sarawak to the 
Queen, 201 ; leaves papers to 
Mr St John, 201. Appendix 
— Settlements to be on main- 
land, 267 $ sound views 
on colonisation, 267 ; fore- 
shadows his own government's 
enlightened opinions, 276 ; 
neglect of Eastern Archi- 
pelago, 276 ; objects of 
voyage, 277 ; Singapore as 
headquarters, 278 ; Marudu 
Bay, 280 ; interior popula- 
tion, 282 ; projects, 288. 
Brooke, Sir Charles (nephew), 
foresees Chinese troubles, 



146 ; popular Governor of 
Sakarang, 158 ; dread of the 
Chinese, 158 ; harasses the 
enemy, 167; attacks Rentab's 
fort, 173 ; mistaken interfer- 
ence in Sultan's dominions, 
180 ; his energy and courage, 
186 ; succeeds his uncle, 
200 ; his three sons, 202 ; 
an irresponsible ruler, 203 ; 
encourages cultivation, 206 j 
regrettable action as to Lim- 
bang, 216 ; judicious adminis- 
tration of justice, 224 ; well 
informed by officers, 224 ; a 
unique government, 23 1 ; satis- 
factorily administered, 231. 

Brooke, Captain, John (nephew), 
88 ; leads light division of 
boats, 100 ; visits the Menam, 
1 10 ; left in charge of Sara- 
wak, 115 ; commands ex- 
pedition against Sungei Lang, 
127 ; returns to England, 
137 ; marries, 172 ; takes 
over administration, 188 ; 
proceeds to Muka, 189 ; 
reinforcements, 189 ; ordered 
by acting Consul-General 
Edwardes to suspend attack, 
189 ; thanked by Lord John 
Russell, 189 ; installed as 
Rajah Muda, 192 ; declares 
himself rajah, 194 ; de- 
posed, 195 ; establishes agri- 
cultural settlements, 206. 

Brooke, Mrs (niece), 172 ; 
Captain Brooke's wife, 173. 

Brunei, taken by Sir Thomas 
Cochrane, 50 ; great effect 
on interior tribes, 80 ; un- 
popularity of Brunei Govern- 
ment, 81;* Venice of hovels,' 
89 ; ' a blot on the map of 
Borneo,' 216. 

Budrudin, Pangeran, his fine char- 
acter, 25 ; joins expedition, 
65 ; defeats Pangeran Usop, 
72 ; murdered in Brunei, 77 ; 



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294 



INDEX 



details of his noble death, 

78. 

Bugis visited by Brooke, 19 ; 
enterprising traders, 265 ; 
supply Eastern Islands, 272. 

Burdett-Coutts, Baroness, trustee 
to Rajah's will, 201. 

Burrator, in Devonshire, purchased 
by Rajah, 184; he is en- 
amoured of the place, 184 ; 
life there, 197. 



Cattli, 223. 

Cavanagh, Colonel, sent to Sara- 
• •^ wak, 194. 

Celebes, bland of, 286 ; the 
inhabitants, 287. 

Charybdity H.M.S., judicious dis- 
play of force, 191. 

Chaufa Mungkut, 122 ; friendly 
to the English, 113; puts off 
Mission, 118. 

Chinese attack Belidah Fort, 28 ; 
establish village at Siniawan, 
42 ; removal to Labuan, 108 ; 
influx of Chinese to Sarawak, 
114; offer prayers for 
Brooke's recovery, 120 ; con- 
spiracy, 140 ; secret societies, 
141 ,* put down in Kuching, 
142 ; established in the 
interior, 142 ; the Kungsi, 
142 ; ramifications, 142 ; 
opium smuggling, 143 ; Kungsi 
fined, 143 ; intrigues, 144 ; 
encouraged by Sambas, 144 ; 
preparations for hostilities, 
146 ; surprise Kuching, 148 ; 
clever combinations, 148 ; 
attack Government House, 
148 ; attack stockades, 152 ; 
burn buildings, 154 ; their 
policy, 154; aim at supremacy, 
157 ; their plans detailed, 
158 ; obedience sworn to 
them, 159; recapture Kuching, 



160 ; driven out again, 164 ; 
cut off in jungle, 164 ; main 
body retire, 165 5 establish 
stockade at Ledah Tanah, 
166 ; Chinese half breeds, 
166 ; fly to Bau, 167 ; retire 
towards Sambas, 167 ; brave 
girls, 168 ; cross the Sambas 
frontier, 169 ; ' sat down and 
wept,' 169 ; turn on plotters, 
170 ; disarmed by Dutch, 
170; deprived of loot, 1705 
character of Chinese, 170 ; 
insensate insurrection, 170 ; 
not formidable, 170 ; Sambas 
Chinese defeated, 172 ; arri- 
val of agriculturists, 175 ; 
gold washing did not pay, 
211 ; Borneo not popular, 
215 ; low class, 215 ; 
Chinese Christian settlement, 
244 ; only reliable workers, 
247; grow pepper, 248; 
false weights and measures, 
257 ; Chinese in Borneo, 
264. 

Clarendon, Lord, instructions to 
Commissioners, 123; Wise's 
forgeries, 129 ; cold approval, 
137; appoints new Consul- 
General, 137 ; recognises 
Sarawak courts, 139; ex- 
presses his good will, 139. 

Coal, in Labuan, 68 ; in Brunei, 
70; in Sarawak, 139; suc- 
cessfully worked, 211 ; in 
Sandakan, 244. 

Cobden, Mr, 105 ; his influence, 
118; attacks Rajah, 129; 
unjustifiable language, 130. 

Cochrane, Sir Thomas, 70 ; 
attacks Pangeran Usop, 71 ; 
attacks Marudu, 72 ; proceeds 
to Brunei, 79 5 fired on, 79 ; 
captures the capital, 80 ; de- 
stroys pirate communities, 81. 

Coffee, increasing cultivation, 207; 
in North Borneo, 248. 

Colenso, Bishop, defended, 197. 



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INDEX 



295 



Collier, Admiral, 90. 

Commission to inquire, 118; 
commissioners from India, 
119; inquiry *to ke full, 
fair and complete,' 119 ; in- 
structions to commissioners, 
123 ; the only two complain- 
ants dismissed, 131 ; a 
threatened fiasco, 131 ; not- 
able witnesses, 131 ; clear 
testimony, 132; report favour- 
able on all important points, 
133 ; findings on each head 
of inquiry, 1 34 ; evil effects 
on Rajah's position, 130. 

Cotton in North Borneo, 248. 

Council of Sarawak, 137. 

Crookshank, Arthur, 75 ; left in 
charge, 83 ; tends Brooke in 
smallpox, 120 ; marries, 139 ; 
mans forts, 145 ; wounded, 
151. 

Crookshank, Mrs, 139 ; desper- 
ately wounded, 151 ; Bishop 
intercedes for her, 157. 

Crymble, Mr, 53 ; gallant defence 
of arsenal, 152 ; personal 
prowess, 153. 

Cutch, an important export, 256. 



* Daily News,' the, 156. 

Dakyn, Mr and Mrs, 197. 

Darvel Bay, 240. 

< Deeds which made the Empire,' 
251. 

Dent, Sir Alfred, 237 ; acquires 
concession of north-west coast, 
239 ; of north-east coast, 239. 

Derby, Lord, cares nothing for 
Borneo, 182 ; unsympathetic 
treatment of Rajah, 183. 

Devereux, Mr, commissioner, 1 30 ; 
fine character, 137 ; findings 
of commission, 132 ; clear 
results due to him, 133. 

Diofta, steamer, at Sarawak, 47. 



Dido^ H.M.S., 55 5 proceeds to 
China, 59 j f^oyage of tAe 
Dido^ 83. 

Dipa, Pangeran, closes Muka to 
Sarawak trade, 178 ; fires 
on Captain Brooke, 189 ; 
ordered to Brunei, 191. 

Drummond, Mr, letters to, 116. 

Dusuns, 244. 

Dutch inimical, 52 ; generous 
conduct of Dutch official, 131; 
disarm Chinese, 170 ; return 
loot, 170 ; neighbourly kind- 
nesses of their authorities, 
172 ; Dutch Government 
exclusive, 262 ; jealous of 
British trade, 263 ; extensive 
possessions, 263 ; monopo- 
lists, 266 ; trading regula- 
tions, 275. 
uties, export, 222 ; objectionable 
duties and taxes, 222 ; on 
salt especially, 222 ; other 
duties on exports, 252 ; capi- 
tation tax, 253. 

Dyaks, Land and Sea, 16 ; 
houses, 16; Sea Dyaks pirates, 
17 ; visit to Land Dyaks, 
107 ; intelligent natives, 114 ; 
under direct rule of Govern- 
ment, 123 ; attack Chinese, 
165 ; defend Serambo, 166 ; 
advancing in wealth. Sea 
Dyaks most energetic, 213 ; 
valuable population, 214. 



£ 

Eastern Archipelago Company, 
104 ; disastrous policy, 105 ; 
charter abrogated, no ; in- 
trigues in Brunei, 122. 

East India Government, 262 ; 
timid policy, 263. 

Edwardes, Governor, hostile to 
Sarawak, 118; sends for ship 
of war, 188 ; interferes with 
Sarawak forces, 189 ; left in 



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296 



INDEX 



charge of Consulate, 189 ; 

Government disapproves, 190; 

relieves him, 190. 
Egerton, Commander, sent to 

Brunei, 76. 
Elgin, Lord, 194. 
Essington, Port, 271. 
Everest, Commander, 96. 



FAiRBAiaN, Mr (Sir Thomas], a 
judicious friend, 182 ; tries to 
interest Government, 183 ; 
appointed trustee, 201. 

Farms, Sarawak, opium, spirit and 
gambling legitimate, 221 ; of 
pork, fish and pawnbroking 
objectionable, 221 ; pork farm 
abolished, 221 ; in North 
Borneo, opium and spirit, 
251 ; objectionable farms, 
251. 

Farquhar, Commander, 96 5 de- 
feats Seribas pirates, 98 ; 
anecdote, 10 1. 

Farquhar, Mr, opinion on value of 
Eastern Archipelago, 273. 

Forrest, Captain, on Marudu Bay, 
281. 



. Gambixr, large exports, 207 5 
Borneo Company plants, 207. 

Gaya Bay, 234 ; splendid harbour, 
238 ; only lately occupied, 
243. 

Gladstone, Mr, comments, 1 30. 

Gold, 210 ; worked by machinery, 
210 ; alluvial washings not 
productive, 211 ; at Sigama, 
244 ; on north-east coast, 
248. 

Grant, Mr Charles, 88 ; illness, 
128 ; returns to England, 
137 ; Resident of Upper 



Sarawak, 165 ; returns to 

Borneo, 172 ; raises English 

crew, 186. 
Grey, Earl, his advice, 137. 
Gumbang village stockaded, 167 ^ 

taken and burnt, 169. 



H 

Hakkas, Chinese Christians, 244. 

Hay, Mr, 172. 

Herbert, Sidney, 116 ; supposed 
influence, 119. 

Hindu Religion, 283. 

Horsburgh, Rev. , tends Rajah 

in smallpox, 120. 

Hose, Mr, resident in Baram, 
215; interesting reports, 225. 

Hoste, Captain Sir William, sent 
to Sarawak, ungenerous in- 
structions to, 172. 

Hume, Joseph, M.P^ 105 ; his 
motion in the House of 
Commons, 113 ; next motion 
defeated, 116 ; indiscretion, 
119; attacks Rajah, 129; 
his integrity not above sus- 
picion, 130. 



Imavm, Datu, appointed, 
his energy, 1 57. 



126 ^ 



his 



Jaffer, Sherif of Linga, 35 
Dyaks, 64 ; deposed, 67. 

Jones, Mr, killed fighting, 250. 
ungle produce in Sarawak, 209 ; 
in North Borneo, 256. 



Kalias, agricultural district, 240. 
Kanowit, 99; piratical popuUtion, 



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INDEX 



297 



100 ; repentant villagers, 102 ; 
fort surprised, 185. 

Kayans, 214 ; work iron, 214. 

Keppel, Captain (now Admiral 
Sir Harry), 55 ; attacks 
' Seribas Dyak pirates, 56 ; 
takes Patusin, 65 ; defeats 
Sakarang pirates, 56 ; pub- 
lishes Voyage of the D'tdo^ 
83 ; appointed to Mtander^ 
85 ; voyage out, 85 ; takes 
Rajah to Sulu, 91. 

Kiau, village, 234 ; cultivation of 
tobacco, 248. 

Kina Balu, mountain, 233 ; jour- 
neys to, 233 ; second visit, 
234 ; nepenthes, 235 \ first 
ascent, 235 ; magnificent 
view, 237 5 lovely flowers, 
237 ; geological formation to 
be studied, 249. 

Kuching, capital of Sarawak, 14 ; 
. Brooke's second visit, 23 ; 
town illuminated, 88 ; sur- 
prised by Chinese, 149 ; 
stockades defended,* 152; 
morning after capture, 156 ; 
town deserted, 159 ; recap- 
tured by Chinese, 160 ; 
Malay town burnt, 163 ; re- 
built, 173. 



Labvan, island of, 68 ; occupied 
by England, 82 ; description, 
89 ; unhealthiness, 89 ; great 
sickness, 90 ; stagnant, 109 ; 
no advance, 115 ; splendid 
anchorage, 238 ; site for 
naval station, 238 ; adminis- 
tered by state of North 
Borneo, 238 ; coaling station, 
240 ; now healthy, 240. 

Ladies, strong objections to, in 
wild Asiatic country, 179 ; 
never associate with natives, 
179 ; exceptions, 226. 



Lanuns, abandon north - west 
coast, 246. 

Library, Rajah's perfect, 174. 

Lily^ H.M.S^sent for Rajah, 128. 

Limbang taken by Sarawak, 215 ; 
illegally, 216 ; inhabitants 
rejoice, 217 5 Brunei oppres- 
sions, 217 ; interesting re- 
ports, 225. 

Lingire, Seribas chief, plans to 
murder Rajah, 73 ; allowed 
to go unpunished, 75 ; kills 
yoimg Sibuyow chiefs, 99. 

London Tavern, great dinner at, 
117; eloquent speech by 
Rajah, 117. 

Low, Mr (now Sir Hugh), anec- 
dote of Rajah Brooke, 85 ; 
Colonial Secretary, 87 ; jour- 
neys to Kina Balu, 233 ; 
first explorer, 237 ; favour- 
able opinion of Dusuns, 244. 

Luconia or Luzon, advantages of, 
^73- 



M 

Macdovgall, Rev. , made a 

Bishop, 140; attends wounded, 

156 ; saves Mrs Crookshank, 

157 5 fugitives sent away with 
Bishop, 162. 

Meander^ H.M.S^ voyage, 85 ; 
to Sulu, 91. 

Makota, Pangeran, 14 ; visits 
Brooke, 15 ; commands Bor- 
nean army, 23 ; cowardice, 
27 ; his intrigues, 45 ; in- 
vites Seribas Dyaks to foray, 
46 ; attempt on Brooke's 
life, 47 ; ordered to leave, 
5 X ; his village destroyed, 66 ; 
Sultan's favourite minister, 
144. 

Malays, fatal European policy, 262 ; 
disorganised, 265. 

Malayan group, 259. 



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298 



INDEX 



Malmesbury, Lord, 118; favours 
protectorate, 183. 

Marudu, pirate haunt, attacked, 
72 ; agricultural settlement, 
243 ; establish government 
there, 269 ; its advantages, 
270 ; could extend, 271. 

Matusin, Pangeran, 179 ; murders 
Pangeran Nipa and family, 
180 ; driven from Muka, 
180. 

Middleton, Mr, 140 ; believes in 
Chinese conspiracy, 146 ; 
children murdered, 151 ; fear- 
ful scene, 151. 

Milanaus inhabit Sago rivers, 214. 

Military forces in Sarawak, native, 
231. 

Mission Church of England, 88 ; 
head of, named Bishop, 140 ; 
mission house saved, 165 ; 
not prosperous, 217 ^ mis- 
sionary spirit dead, 218. 

Mission, Roman Catholic, 217 ; 
slightly advancing, 218. 

Moksain, Sherif, rebel-envoy, 37 ; 
sent to Sambas, 176 ; report 
on fugitive Chinese, 176. 

Muda Hassim, Rajah, 12 ; sent 
to quell rebellion in Sarawak, 
14 ; offers country to Brooke, 
25 ; his irresolution, 44 ; 
untrustworthiness, 45 ; cedes 
Sarawak to Brooke, 48 ; in- 
vited to return to Brunei, 49 ; 
exciting scene, 50 ; requests 
Keppel to attack pirates, 55; 
removes to Brunei, 67 ; 
murdered, ff ; details, 78. 

Mumein, Pangeran, chosen as 
Sultan, 121 ; lodges Rajah in 
Palace, 122 ; confidence in 
Rajah, 123 ; supposed to 
intrigue against Sarawak, 
184 ; receives Musahor, 188 ; 
intrigues with Governor 
Edwarde8,i88. 

Musahor, Sherif, 185 ; driven out 
of Sarawak, 185 ; appeals to 



Sultan and Consul-General, 
188 ; returns to Muka with 
Edwardes, 189 ; Sultan 
banishes him, 191 ; sent to 
Singapore, 191. 
Mutiny, Indian, effect on Rajah 
of the, 177 ; one cause of, 
178. 



N 

Napur, Lieutenant-Governor, 87; 
suspended, 108 ; intrigues in 
Brunei, 122 ; case dismissed, 
131 ; appears as hostile wit- 
ness, 133. 

Nenusti^ steamer. Captain Wal- 
lace, action with pirates, 
82 ; visit to Sulu, 94 ; ex- 
pedition, 96 ; crushes Seribas 
pirates, 98 ; in the Rejang, 
100 ; proceeds to Siam, no. 

Nicoletts, Mr, murdered, 150 ; 
head on a pole, 158. 

Ntmrody H.M.S., proceeds to 
Borneo, 190. 

Nipa, Pangeran, 179 ; murdered, 
180. 

North Borneo, 21. 

North Borneo, state of, 232 ; 
grand mountains,23 3 ; splendid 
country, 234 ; fine harbours, 
238; slow progress, 239 ; 
fertile lands, 240 ; principal 
settlement, 240 ; capable 
Chairman and Directors, 249; 
armed police, 250 ; officers 
worthy to lead brave men, 
250 ; ancient Chinese settle- 
ments, 253 ; Chinese names, 
253 ; difficulties of raising 
revenue, 253 ; interference 
with traders, 256 j injudici- 
ous regulations, 256 ; pro- 
posed cession to Sarawak, 
258 ; another East Indian 
Company, 258. 



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INDEX 



299 



Omar Ali, Sultan of Brunei, 13 ; 

ratifies grant of Sarawak, 49 ; 

offers to cede Labuan, 67 ; 

orders Muda Hassim and 

Budrudin to be killed, TJ \ 

signs treaty, 82 ; puts pirates 

to death, 83 ; cancer, 90 ; 

death, 121. 
Opium, smuggling of, 143 ; very 

considerable, 172. 
Orang Kaya Tumangong, 16 ; 

defends Sikundis, 31 ; death 

of sons, 99. 
Order in Council, absurd character 

of, 137 ; revoked, 138. 
Osman, Sherif, attacked, 71 ; his 

death, 71. 



Pad AS, agricultural district, 240 ; 
telegraphic lines, 240 ; mixed 
population, 246 ; terminus of 
railway, 242. 

Paku, country laid waste, 99. 

Palmerston, Lord, 115; defence of 
Brooke, 116; cordial recep- 
tion, 1 80 5 offers Protectorate 
to Sarawak, 180. 

Panics among natives, 218 5 in 
Singapore, 218 5 perverse 
notions of natives, 2195 
panic in Sarawak, 219 ; in 
Dutch territories, 220 ; ex- 
traordinary delusion, 220. 

Patah, Abong, reveals Patingi*8 
conspiracy, 124 5 his speech 
to Sarawak Malays, 1595 
bold but injudicious action, 
160. 

Patingi, Datu, 74; oppresses 
Dyaks, 123 ; given salary, 
124 5 conspires against Rajah, 
124 5 carefully watched, 125 ; 
banished, 125 5 appears before 
commission, 133 ; again plots 



against Government, 185 ; 
again banished, 185. 

Patingi Ali, killed by pirates, 66. 

Patusin, town of, attacked and 
taken, 65. 

Penang, island of, 109. 

Pepper, considerable amount pro- 
duced, 207 ; in Padas and 
Kalias, 240. 

Pirates frequent Sulu Islands, 95 ; 
Dyak oarsmen, 114; ravage 
Dutch possessions, 132. 

Population, Malays, 212 ; Land 
Dyaks, 212 ; Sea Dyaks, 
212 ; Milanaus, 214; Kayans 
and Kineahs, 214; Punans 
and Pakatans, 214 ; inhabit- 
ants forsaking Sultan's 
territories, 217 ; of North 
Borneo, 244 ; Dusuns, 244 ; 
Borneans not a productive 
race, 247. 

Prinsep, Mr, Commissioner, 1 30 5 
incapable, 131. 

Punans, 214; little better than 
monkeys, 283. 



Rai-flxs, Sir Stamford, 9; his 
broad views, 263 5 the 
highest authority, 266. 

Railway, trans-Bornean, 238 ; starts 
from Padas, 242 ; a great 
experiment, 242 ; a new era, 
242; experimental farm, 2435 
good prospects, 243. 

Rambowy steamer, bought for Sara- 
wak, 187; takes Rajah to 
Borneo, 190. 

Rap'td^ H.M.S., takes Rajah to 
Sarawak, 136. 

Rejang river, districts granted to 
Rajah as far as, 122. 

Rentab, pirate chief, 126 5 his 
fort stormed, 127 ; attacks 
friendly Dyaks, 173 ; defends 
Sadok, 173. 



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300 



INDEX 



Revenue of Sarawak, 221 ; 
revenues inelastic, 223 ; in 
State of North Borneo, 251 ; 
revenue and expenditure, 252 ; 
inelastic also in North Borneo, 

254. 

Rice, small cultivation, 208 ; im- 
ported, 208. 

Ricketts, Mr, first Consul at Sara- 
wak, 196. 

Royalisty H.M.S^ 96. 

Royalist^ schooner, 8 ; description, 
1 1 ; of the R. Y. squadron, 
278. 

Royalisty Svnyr^ steamer, 198. 



S 



Sadok, pirate fort, 127. 

St John, Mr (Sir Spenser), ap- 
pointed secretary, 85 ; acting 
Commissioner, 115 ; Consul- 
General, 137 ; despatch on 
Order in Council, 137 5 reply, 
138 ; leaves for Brunei, 139 ; 
rumours of disaster, 146 ; 
visits the Rajah, 173 ; con- 
gratulations of Malays, 175 ; 
again visits Sarawak, 186; 
returns to post in Brunei, 189 ; 
asked to act as mediator, 191 ; 
proceeds to Muka, 191 ; an 
unfortunate memorandum, 
195; shoots man-eating 
alligator, 229 ; ascents of 
Kina Balu, 233. 

Sago production encouraged, 207 ; 
sago factories successful, 211 ; 
increased cultivation, 212 ; in 
Padas, 240. 

Sago rivers or districts, 179. 

Sahib, Sherif, restores captives, 62 ; 
retires to the Batang Lupar, 
63 ; his town destroyed, 65. 

Sakarang Dyaks, pirates, 18 ; their 
fleet, 63 ; ^eir country, 64 ; 
chief town attacked and 
taken, 66 ; three hundred 



skulls, 100 ; Ren tab a Saka- 
rang pirate, 126 ; expedition 
against, 126 ; their principal 
fort taken, 127 : condemned 
as pirates by Commission, 
135 ; faithful soldiers, 136 ; 
harass Chinese, 167 ; sharp 
traders, 257. 

&»fiartf}ig',H.M.S^ capsizes in Sara- 
wak River, 59 ; recovered, 
59 ; proceeds to Brunei, 60. 

Sambas, Sultan of, encourages 
Chinese to rebel, 144. 

Samboangan, Spanish settlement, 

96. 

Sandakan, telegraph to, 240 ; the 
capital, 242 ; fine bay, 244 ; 
mixed population, 246. 

Sapong, experimental plantation, 
243. 

Sarawak, 13 ; country offered to 
Brooke, 25 ; its government 
-ceded to him, 48 ; increase of 
population, 67 5 reception by 
inhabitants of, 87 ; grant 
renewed, 122 ; divided into 
five districts, 204 ; its^ courts, 
205 ; its government a mild 
despotism, 205 ; its develop- 
ment must be slow, 205 ; 
wild animals of, 230 ; meagre 
account, 230 ; satisfactory 
state of, 231 ; a unique 
government, 231. 

Sarawak Council created by 
Rajah, 137 ; despatch ad- 
dressed, 190 ; a consultative 
assembly, 204 ; composition, 
204 ; useful, 204 ; general 
council, 204 ; its composition, 
204. 

Sarawak Courts, 223 ; no maudlin 
pity, 223 ; might be imitated 
in England, 224 ; death 
penalty for head hunters, 224 ; 
in cases, heavy fines, 224 ; 
amusing decision, 224. 

Sarawak Gaxette^ 203 ; intemper- 
ate article, 216 ; account of 



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INDEX 



301 



panic, 219; Singapore jeal- 
ousy, 226. 

Sarawak Malays, rebel against 
Makota, 14 ; hold the interior, 
23 ; defend Siniawan, 26 ; 
surrender to Brooke, 39; 
dMperse,4i ; chiefs reinstated, 
49 ; join Keppers force, 56 ; 
attack pirate stronghold, 65 ; 
rejoice at capture of Brunei, 
81 ; hearty reception of Rajah, 
87 ; evening visits, 107 5 
anxious time, 121 ; rejoicings, 
121 ; native expedition against 
pirates, 126 ; gallantly defend 
stockades, 153 ; noble conduct 
of, 155 ; faithful to death, 
160 ; attack Chinese, 161 ; 
capture barges, 161 ; take 
stockades, 167; pursue enemy, 
167 5 drive Chinese over 
frontier, 169 ; devoted popu- 
lation, 171 ; fine character of 
Malays, 171 ; rebuild their 
town, 173 ; cheerful views, 
175 ; bonds of sympathy 
slacker, 178 ; thoroughly 
faithful, 187 ; employed as 
Government officers, 205 ; 
satisfactory results, 205 ; 
Malay chiefs against unre- 
stricted trade, 257, 

Sarawak Service, 225 ; salaries, 
225 ; allowances, 226 ; fur- 
lough pay, 226 ; pensions, 
226. 

Scott, Mr (Sir John), sent to 
Labuan, 86 ; Governor, 115. 

Secret societies, 141. 

Seribas Dyak pirates, 18 \ Dyak 
fleet, 46 ; attacked by Keppel, 
56 ; their country, 64 ; 
Lingire, 73 ; attempts to 
murder Rajah, 73 5 attack 
Sadong, 93 ; fleet caught at 
sea, 98 ; great defeat, 98 ; 
size of vessels, 98 ; proofs of 
piracy, 99 ; testimony of 
Dutch official, 132 ; con- 



vincing proofs, 132 ; no undue 

severity, 133 ; indiscriminate 

murderers, 135 ; now faithful 

soldiers, 136 ; aid Govern- 
ment, 173 5 under present 

Rajah, 213. 
Siam, 109 ; Brooke's mission to, 

no ; chief minister, in ; our 

interview, in ; legation, 

112; king hostile, 112; 

British subjects, 113 ; failure 

of mission, 113 ; proposed 

second mission, 118. 
Sikh police, in Sarawak, 231 ; in 

North Borneo, 251 ; splendid 

behaviour, 251. 
Singapore, the settlement of, 263 ; 

native trade, 268. 
Sir Jamet Brooke^ steamer, the, 

140 ; saves Sarawak, 163 ; 

government established on 

board, 165. 
Smith, John Abel, M.P^ 193 ; 

negotiations, 194 ; trustee, 

201. 
Spkfnxy H.M.S., 1 10 ; on shore, 

III. 
Spring traps, 223 ; fatal accidents, 

223. 
Stanley, Lord, appreciates Sarawak, 

182. 
Steel, Mr, his escape, 1 50 ; resident 

in Rejang, 158 ; murdered, 

185. 
Stewart, Mr, killed by pirates, 66. 
Sulu, Sultan of, ceded North 

Borneo to England, 21 ; 

Rajah*s visits, 92-94 ; signs 

treaty, 94. 
Sungei Lang, fort, stormed, 127. 



TAi-pf-KoNG, sacred stone, saved 

by Chinese, 169. 
Tampasuk, 233 ; customs of 

Bajaus there, 233. 



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INDEX 



Tani, friendly chief, executed by 
mistake, 185. 

Telegraph line, 240 ; through 
primeval forests, 241 ; use of, 
242. 

Testimonial raised for Rajah, 184. 

Timor, Portuguese island, should 
be acquired, 273. 

Tobacco, cultivated, 243 ; fine 
quality, 247 ; native cultiva- 
tion, 248 ; valuable escport, 
254 ; companies, 255 ; plan- 
tations, 255. 

Trade returns, 208 ; Sarawak im- 
ports and exports, 209 ; of 
North Borneo, 255. 

Trusan River, 215. 

U 
Usop, Pangeran, 70 ; opposes Muda 



Hassim, 70 ; attacked by 
Cochrane, 71 ; defeat, 72 ; 
executed, 72. 



W 



Wallace, Mr Alfred, 234. 

fVerafy brig, 120 ; visit to Brunei, 
121. 

Whitehead, Mr John, reports on 
head hunting, 245. 

Wild cattle, 230. 

Wise, Mr Henry, Brooke's agent, 
60 ; proceeds to Borneo, 70 ; 
great schemes, 75 ; projects 
disallowed, 76 ; dinner to 
Brooke, 84 ; his hypocrisy, 
84 ; attacks Rajah's policy, 
103 ; his bad conduct, 129. 



THE END 



CoUton 6>* Coy. Limited^ Printers^ Edinburgh. 



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